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friends of the Church, as one for the maintenance of which some special provision should be made. The committee find that, while the population of the district is limited and the congregation small, it occupies a position of great importance, as being in the neighbourhood of the royal residence, and in a part of the country largely frequented by visitors in
Two parties at a distance have shown great liberality, and it is hoped that soon it may be put on a permanent footing.
Mr Adam referred to the facts that Crathie was now near a royal residence, and that it was frequented by a number of influential parties in the summer months, thus rendering it indispensable that a minister of experience should be appointed to the charge when sanctioned. The people had exerted themselves, and raised about £60 to the Sustentation Fund. One gentleman, a member of that Assembly, had liberally offered £20 a year in order to assist the congregation in obtaining a minister; and another gentleman in London had handsomely agreed to give a certain amount of assistance; but the committee felt that, though perhaps this kind of effort might secure a stipend of £80, it was not an adequate provision for such a place. It was, owing to the circumstances to which he had referred, a place which would require one of their ablest ministers. It was well known that during a portion of the year some of the ablest and most efficient ministers of the Established Church officiated there; and he trusted that this Assembly would feel a deep interest in such an important station. It was desirable that the minister who might be settled should not only be fitted for attending to the spiritual wants of the district, but for ministering with acceptance to persons who were drawn to the locality during the summer months. It was of the greatest importance that a small permanent endowment should be provided ; and he trusted that some of their liberal friends would come forward and respond to the appeal now made. He hoped that by next Assembly such progress would be made that they would be in circumstances to sanction the charge, and to settle over it a minister of eminence. (Hear, hear.)
Dr G. G. Brown also briefly alluded to the importance of this station, and expressed the hope that an arrangement would be carried out that would command the approbation of all.
Major Ross, as one of those who had visited the district of Crathie, stated that the Free Church had there now a beautiful place of worship. There were 800 people in the valley, most of whom attended the Established Church. If they had a vigorous and able minister there, who would work the district, he would secure a flourishing congregation. He agreed with Mr Adam in the views he had thrown out.
Dr Candlish also trusted that Mr Adam's statement would tell upon some of their influenţial members. He agreed with all Mr Adam's views, with the exception that it was not a small endowment at which they should aim, but a very considerable one, so as to make the charge worth the acceptance of the most eminent of the young men in the Church.
After a few remarks from Sir H. MONCREIFF, approving of the suggestion of Dr Candlish that the endowment should be a large one, it was agreed to adopt the recommendation of the committee; it being at the same time resolved, on the suggestion of Professor Lumsden, that special care should be taken to have the station well supplied during the present summer.
Mr Adam, at a subsequent stage of the proceedings, announced that he had received £100 from a friend, who did not wish his name to be mentioned, as the commencement of an endowment for the church at Crathie. (Cheers.)
ACT ANENT COLLECTIONS. The Assembly appointed the following collections to be made during the ensuing year in all the congregations of the Free Church :
1. On the fifth Sabbath of June, for the Colonial Scheme.
7. On the third Sabbath of April, for the Home Mission. And the Assembly also appoint that a collection shall be made for Foreign Missions on the third Sabbath of July, in those congregations which have no association in aid of that scheme. Further, the Assembly appoint a special collection for this year, on account of the urgent necessities of the case, for Church and Manse Building, to be made on the third Sabbath of September.
A conversational discussion took place on the Act, in the course of which Mr Wilson, of Dundee, explained the need which there was for a special collection being made for the Church and Manse Building Fund. The suggestion was thrown out by Mr Wilson and Dr Candlish that those friends of the Church who were called upon by private parties for subscriptions, and who are often annoyed by repeated calls of this description, would do well to remit the sum which they were in the habit of contributing in this way to the Church and Manse Building committee, who would be better able to judge of the merits of individual cases.
The Assembly, after some conversation, adopted the following deliverances on the cases classed under this head :
In the case of reference by the Synod of Aberdeen in the case of Dr Mackay and the congregation of Rhynie, the General Assembly resolve to appoint assessors to act in this case along with the Presbytery of Alford. - In the application by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, with reference to the annual premium payable for the Widows and Orphans' Fund in the case of Dr Hanna, the General Assembly appoint the said premium to be paid, and deducted from the ordinary dividend applicable to the congregation of St John's, Edinburgh. In the case of the Petition of the Deacons' Court of St John's, Edinburgh, the General Assembly resolve that two dividends from the Sustentation Fund shall continue to be paid during the lifetime of Dr Guthrie, it being understood that the premiums payable to the Widows and Orphans' Fund, in the case of Dr
These two have been only biennial collections.
Hanna, shall be deducted from the dividend of the junior colleague.In the case of the application by the Presbytery of Linlithgow, in the case of Mr James Boyd, who has resigned the charge of Polmont, the General Assembly appoint that the premium payable in order to maintain Mr Boyd's connexion with the Widows and Orphans' Fund, shall continue to be paid, and shall be deducted from the dividend applicable to the congregation of Polmont.--- In the case of Mr Alexander Paterson, who proposes to retire from the charge of Dunblane, the General Assembly appoint that, in the event of Mr Paterson's retirement, the sum of £47 shall be annually paid to him out of the dividend of the Sustentation Fund applicable to the congregation of Dunblane, so long as he sball be unable for active duty, the said sum being inclusive of the annual premium payable on his behalf to the Widows and Orphans' Fund. -In the case of the memorial of the congregation of Cluny, the General Assembly postpone any deliverance at present, but resolve to appoint a committee to confer with all parties interested therein, and to bring up a report thereon to the commission at any one of its stated meetings. And the Assembly empower the commission at any ordinary meeting, after receiving the report of the committee, to dispose of the case.—In the case of the application by the Presbytery of Chanonry, in behalf of Mr Simon Fraser, who proposes to resign the charge of Fortrose, the General Assembly appoint that a retiring allowance of £60 shall be paid to Nr Fraser, and deducted from the dividend payable from the Sustentation Fund for the congregation of Fortrose, with this provision and understanding, that said allowance shall be reduced by whatever sum above £20 per annum which may be drawn by Mr Fraser from the Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund.
ENDOWMENT OF COLLEGES. The report from the committee on this subjeot was made verbally by Dr CANDLISH, who expressed his regret that he had not been able to do much on bebalf of this object during the year, for reasons that were pretty well known to many of the brethren. He was as deeply impressed as ever with a sense of the vast importance of this subject; and they had made a very satisfactory arrangement in the direction of carrying out the plan which was approved of two or three years ago. He was coufident that if only they entered on the prosecution of the object with vigour, entire success would be the result. He took the liberty of asking the re-appointment of the committee: but he must have the assistance of a younger and stronger minister than himself if any good were to be done. After referring to the effective service which Dr Duns had rendered, Dr Candlish proposed that Mr Walker, of Carnwath, should be appointed vice-convener, with Dr Duns as secretary. Were this done, he believed the committee would be able to report something satisfactory to next Assembly. He had been aiming at getting sums of £1000 and £2000, but they must now extend the basis of their operations.
The suggestions of Dr Candlish were agreed to.
LIBRARY OF REFERENCE. Dr CANDLISH, in the absence of Dr Begg, gave in the report of the committee on this subject, (No. XXVI.) The Assembly approved of the report, and re-appointed the committee,- Mr Mackenzie, of Free Tolbooth, to be associated with Dr Begg in the convenership.
Professor Gibson, on the part of Dr Begg, gave in this report, (No. XXII.) He said that Dr Begg did not feel that there was any propriety in continuing the committee on Popery, not because he did not regard it as of importance, but because of the absence of funds and the comparatively small interest taken in it, and the small support given to the committee. Dr Begg was, therefore, disposed to suggest that the committee should be discharged, or, at all events, that he should be relieved of the convenership.
Mr SOMERVILLE, of Glasgow, would be sorry if the committee were, at this time, allowed to go down. In the course of some remarks, he referred to the progress and attitude of Popery at present in Great Britain, and spoke especially in terms of commendation of the work carried on by Dr Burns Thompson in the Medical Missionary Institution in Edinburgh, where that gentleman and his assistants were brought into contact with about 4000 Roman Catholics in the course of the year. The success of Dr Thompson's efforts was certainly matter of encouragement. More good, he believed, was being done by that one institution in the way of bringing the gospel to bear on the Popish mind than was being accomplished at this moment by the whole of the Free Church ministry in Glasgow.
Dr CANDLISH was in favour of discharging the committee, and thought that the true way of acting against Popery was in the direction indicated by Mr Somerville. He moved that the committee be discharged, and that special instructions be given to Presbyteries to keep in view the extreme danger of the progress of Popery, and to adopt measures for resisting its efforts.
After some conversation, the suggestion was agreed to.
HOUSES FOR THE WORKING CLASSES. Professor Gibson, in giving in this report, (No. XXV.,) said he was authorised by Dr Begg to state that it was not necessary to continue this committee, on the ground that public attention was thoroughly alive on the subject. The committee was accordingly discharged.
PRE-DISRUPTION MINISTERS' FUND.
Mr THORBURN, of Leith, moved the approval of the report and the re-appointment of the committee, which was agreed to.
PLATFORM OF THE EQUAL DIVIDEND. The Assembly took up the report on this subject. It was moved and seconded, “ That the Assembly approve of the report, except in so far as concerns the proposal to place, the charges of Innellan and Marshall church, Kirkintilloch, upon the platform. And the Assembly admitted to the platform of the equal dividend the charges of Knox's Church, Perth ; Strath and Strathaird ; Young Street church, Glasgow; and Loanhead; and that those four charges be the only aid-receiving charges admitted to that platform by the present Assembly. Further, the General Assembly hereby admit the charge of Invergordon to the platform, on the ground that it has been aid-giving for several years."
It was also moved and seconded, “That the Assembly also add the charge of Hillhead, in the Presbytery of Glasgow, to the platform, and that the whole number of aid-giving congregations added be five in place of four.” After reasoning, the second motion was withdrawn, with consent of the House. Therefore the Assembly declared in terms of the first motion.
JOHN KNOX'S HOUSE, CANONGATE. The Assembly took up the memorial from the Knox congregation anent John Knox's house. Part of the minute of the Presbytery of Edinburgh on this subject was read. It was agreed that the Assembly appoint a committee to confer with the trustees of the property of John Knox's house, and with the general trustees of the Church upon the subject of this memorial, with instructions to report to next General Assembly
MODERATING OF CALLS. The Assembly took up the overture XIII., from the Presbytery of Edinburgh, anent moderating in calls. The Assembly remit this overture to the committee on the Form of Process, instructing them to report upon it to next General Assembly.
The Assembly took into consideration the report of the committee appointed to confer with the colonial and continental committee. The Assembly approved of the report, and re-appointed the committee, with Dr Buchanan as convener, remitting to them the whole subject for further and more deliberate consideration, and instructing them, after further conference with the colonial and continental committee, to lay a full report on the table of the commission at its meeting in November, for the information of the Church, so that the next General Assembly may be prepared to adopt some final resolution regarding it.
Dr Candlish moved the approval of the pastoral address on prevailing errors.
Mr M'Corkle did not object to the reference made in the pastoral address to rationalism as a prevailing form of error. But that was a heresy more adapted to the meridian of Edinburgh. In rural districts they did not know so much about it, but they were often exposed to the contagion of Morrisonianism, especially in times of revival ; and he thought that the address should make some reference to that heresy.
Mr W. Wilson said that the pastoral address dealt upon the error to which Mr M'Corkle referred, though not under the name and in the precise form referred to by Mr M'Corkle.
The address was then approved.
The Assembly also approved of the pastoral address to ministers, office-bearers, and members at mission stations.