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ever apt to look down upon children as beneath their notice, with a view to instruction or acts of kindness. The example of Jesus in this respect, as in every other, was most notable, when He rebuked the disciples, who, actuated by the oriental instinct, forbade little children to be brought to Him for His blessing. He never knew anything more striking than to see how the natives were often affected by the contrast between the great Teacher of Christianity in His treatment of children, and the great teachers of their own idolatrous systems. Dr Duff here remarked that it was something providential to find this uudesigned coincidence—that the concluding business of the Assembly had to do with the young in their Sab. bath schools at home, and that in the conclusion of this address which he submitted for the adoption of the Assembly, there was the same care expressed for the young connected with their niissions abroad. It was to him a matter of rejoicing that the Assembly was giving each year so much of its time and attention to this most important subject; for all history and experience tended to prove that to neglect the lambs of the flock would be to reap the bitter penalty in a lapsed and alienated Church, while the blessed reward of duly attending to this work would be found in a vigorous, thriving, renovated Church. (Applause.) Of late they had been hearing a great deal about the wonders of the Atlántic cable, which, palpably to the eye of sense, had united Great Britain, the mother country, with North America, peopled chiefly by her sons; and which by conveying, through the agency of the subtle electric fluid, messages of importance to the peoples on either shore, already one in raco, language, and religion, tended to unite them more closely than ever in the bonds of a great social brotherhood, whose best interests were buund up in each other's bighest welfare and prosperity, and whose friendly and cordial alliance would enable them not only powerfully to influence but virtually to regulate or even determine the destinies of the different kingdoms and dynasties of the earth. In like manner this pastoral address, now proposed to be sent forth from the General Assembly, representing as it does, in the eye of the world, the collective wisdom and piety of the Free Church of Scotland—to her foreign missionaries in India and South Africa, and to the churches gathered, by Goa's blessing, through their labours, from the ancient heathen civilisation of the one, and the ancient heathen barbarism of the other-might, without any very great stretch or effort of imagination, be regarded as a species of evangelical cable, well fitted to unite the mother Church at home with the infant and daughter churches abroad ; and by conveying, through the agency of the still more subtle element of divine love wherewith it is surcharged, messages of heavenly wisdom, kindliness and good will, tend to link them to us still more closely in the bonds of spiritual sympathy and affection, as well as by the reciprocal interchange of spiritual good offices, productive of blessed fruits, wbich might last not only through the vicissitudes of short-lived time, but through the boundless duration of eternal ages. (Applause.) Dr Duff then proposed that the Assembly approve the address, and send it as speedily as possible to the various missionaries and agents in India and Africa ; that the Assembly instruct the foreign missions committee to furnish copies to each member of Assembly, and also to send along with the Record for July a copy of it to all the ministers of the Church not members of the Assembly ; permitting the committee also, if they see fit, to print and circulate a limited number of copies; and further, that on the 21st of July, the day appointed for the collection for Foreign Missions, in those congregations where associations do not exist, special prayer be offered up in all the congregations of the Church that the Divine blessing may accompany this address. The notion was adopted.
ADDRESS ON PREVAILING ERRORS. Mr W. Wilson then proposed that the Assembly approve of the pastoral address on Prevailing Errors, and that all ministers and probationers be instructed to read it to their respective congregations on an early Sabbath after it has been received.--Agreed to.
THE LATE MR PAUL AND MR H. DUNLOP. The Assembly called for the proposed minute regarding the late Mr Robert Paul and the late Mr Henry Dunlop. The report thereanent was laid on the table by Dr Wood, convener of the committee appointed in the forenoon, and approved of. In accordance there with the General Assembly declare as follows :
“Since last General Assembly, it has pleased God to deprive the Free Church of Scotland of two of her most honoured elders. One of them, Mr Robert Paul, bas gone down to the grave in a good old age, fully ripe. We are sad when we think that we shall never again have his patriarchal presence among us. Yet, why should we mourn? for we know that he has gone to the place whose inhabitants are always young, and whose mortality is swallowed up of life. Mr Paul was a son of the manse; and though grace is not hereditary, yet he, a child of many prayers, was a man of God from an early age. He was endowed with a strong natural understanding. He had a mind carefully cultivated, and
a he was continually adding to its stores by reading and reflection. Of first-rate business talents and habits, he took a foremost place among business men, whether the work in hand related to the business of the world, or of the Church of Christ. His love for the Free Church of Scotland was great. Much he worked for her, and much be prayed for her; and very much did he do to strengthen her by his sagacious coun. sels and the weight of his personal character. Who that knew him but must have been struck with his ardent and unassuming piety, his kindly humour, his gentle playfulness, and, withal, the firmness and decision of his principles. In the days of conflict he could always be relied on, both for counsel and action. But he seemed to be happiest when the storm and the strise was over, and when all that was needed was to be kind and loving. That is what he has now to the full—the rest, the peace, the joy, the companionship of the saints which he valued and enjoyed so much when on earth, the joys of his Lord. We miss him greatly at our committees and in our Assembly, but we need not, and we will not mourn him ; rather let us seek to follow him, as one who, through faith and patience, is now, even at this present, inberiting the promises.
“In the death of Mr Henry Dunlop the Free Church has lost another most estimable and useful elder. Mr Dunlop combined the bumble earnest Christian with the able active man of public life. He was ever ready at the call of duty, and in the discharge of difficult public duties, which at several periods of his life devolved on him, he combined courtesy with firmness in an eminent degree. Though he was not far from the threescore years and ten, he died, as we are apt to think, all too boon for the Church and the community. But it was God's time, and it was best. We bow in humble acquiescence. • The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.'”
Thereafter the General Assembly engaged in prayer, Dr Henderson conducting the devotions, at the Moderator's desire.
APPOINTMENT OF NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY. The next General Assembly was appointed to be holden at Edinburgh on Thursday the 21st May 1868.
APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSION. The General Assembly appointed a commission, consisting of all the members of Assembly, and of Principal Fairbairn of the New College, Glasgow, named by the Moderator, with power and instructions, in the usual form.
THE MODERATOR'S CLOSING ADDRESS.
Fathers and Brethren,- I congratulate you on the proceedings of this most important Assembly, now happily concluded. To preside over your deliberations has been one of the greatest happinesses of my life; and I thank God, by whose good hand upon me I have been upheld to the close. You cau with difficulty imagine what a satisfaction it affords, after an enforced absence from our General Assemblies for several years, to mark, on one's return, the order and decorum of your proceedings, and withal the frank and open expression of opinion by which they have been distinguished, together with the undiminished energy and ability with which the affairs of the Church in all their departments continue to be conducted. Indeed, we bave had in this Assembly, and that, too, on the part of comparatively young members of this Court, displays of ripe theological learning, of distriminating judgment, loftiness of tone and aim, manly and vigorous eloquence, aud electric rapidity of thought and reply, that vividly reminded me of the noblest debates of the Disruption controversy, and which afford assurance for the future that, whether in a united or separate Church, the cause of truth and righteousness shall not fail through want of able and eloquent advocates. (Cheers.) As my wish is to invite your attention during the brief remainder of our time to certain points which seem to me of urgent importance in the present circumstances of our Church, I the more readily abstain from any attempt to rehearse or review your proceedings-a task for which I am not qualified. And, indeed, if I were, it would be needless and unprofitable. The union vote, for example, speaks for itself with an emphasis no words of mine can augment. It says to all the friends of the movement, as God commanded Moses to say to the Israelites at the Red Sea, “that they go forward.” (Applause.) Let us hope that in His kind providence He will yet make the path of duty so plain that we shall pass over into the promised land of union an unbroken host, not a hoof being left behind. (Applause.) These great spiritual movements are really, after all, little under the control of human wisdom. They are the work of Him in whose hand are the hearts of men, and who turneth them as rivers of water for the accomplishment of purposes which we cannot in the meantime fathom.
Aud the attitude which it becomes the believer to maintain in regard to them is that of Paul, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” What are we, that we should withstand God? I have said that I shall not attempt to review your proceedings. If I make one exception, I am sure it will not be supposed that I do so in the way of personal allusion to the brother whom the case concerns. Nothing could be farther from my thoughts. No; I rejoice to say that Mr Smith has many, many warm friends in the Free Church of Scotland, of whom I am one, who esteem and admire him ; who would deplore the loss to the cause and service of Christ in connexion with our Church, of his gifts and accomplishments;
and who cherish the conviction that, through the grace of God, he will speedily emerge from this transitory cloud into a brighter sky than ever, and be upheld in the spiritual firmament as a star in the right hand of Christ. (Applause.) I allude to his case-involving, as it did, a question of doctrine, or rather of the wrong or right statement of doctrine-simply as offering a not inappropriate occasion to address a few words of affectionate counsel, suggested by the religious spirit and character of the age, to those who must ever be objects of the deepest interest to a Free Church Assembly, namely, our students, the future hopes of our Church and country. (Applause.) Although I only repeat what they are accustomed to hear much better said by their stated instructors, yet, the circumstances of time and place, and the fact that I speak what lengthened observation and experience have forced on my attention, may incline them to lend a favourable ear to the voice of affectionate admonition. Let me say, then, to our young friends, as you would not enter on the duties and responsibilities of the ministry raw and unfurnished -as you would not that your trumpet should give an uncertain sound let your present years be spent in acquiring a thorough mastery of the literature of your profession. Whatever your sympathy with modern thought, and the pursuits of general literature and philosophy-and this every wise counsellor would encourage--yet let it be a matter of conscience with you, that the period of your theological course shall be sacredly given to its proper and peculiar work, and shall be employed in forming habits of assiduous study, and in cultivating a knowledge of the Church, and a hearty sympathy with her, in her history, her theology, and her work at home and abroad. Let your views with regard to all the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith be thoroughly digested and settled ; and with respect even to the language in which you clothe them, do not think it a thing antiquated and obsolete to tread in “ the old paths, where is the good way.” Be neither afraid nor ashamed, in these days of negative theology, to speak to the people in the phraseology familiar to them from their childhood, of the covenants, and imputed guilt and imputed righteousness, and original sin, and free grace, and election, and regeneration, and conversion, and effectual calling, and the atonement by the sacrificial blood of Christ, and an eternal heaven after death, or an eternal hell. If the terms in which these truths are ordinarily expressed fall into disuse, the truths themselves will soon be lost sight of, and men's minds will become a blank as to all positive and influential religious beliefs. (Applause.) Moreover, as one of your professors has most justly observed, and as you will see confirmed the more you acquaiut yourselves with the history of doctrines, “the technical language of theology which Sciolists are anxious to disuse, has been the slow growth of a conviction on the part of the Church, taught by many a controversy with error, that the established forms of expression are the best, if not the only ones suited accurately to express and securely to guard the truth.” While a careful study of the writings of the Puritans will greatly enlarge and exalt your knowledge of theology as a science, where, I would ask on purely literary grounds, will you meet with finer specimens of profound thought, elaborate analysis, lively and appropriate imagery, purity, simplicity, and elevation of style, than in the works of such men as Goodwin, Owen, Bates, Baxter, and Mantou? Let me further recommend to you to acquaint yourselves early with the practical work of the ministry. District prayer-meetings, adult Sabbath classes, territorial missions, all furnish a school in which may be profitably learned that homilitic use of the Scriptures, and that facility in popular address, and in public appearances generally, which some of our best ministers lose more or less of the first years of their ministry in acquiring. Dr Blaikie very pertinently referred yesterday, in connexion with the Home Mission report, to certain conferences, held in London a few months ago, between ministers of various Christian Churches and a large number of representative working men, with the view of ascertaining why so large a proportion of the latter are habitually alienated from the public worship of God. Happily, as my friend observed, the evil complained of does not exist amongst us, in at all the same extent to which it seems to prevail in the south.
And where nonchurch going habits do form the rule in Scotland, they can in a large measure be accounted for by the guilty and long-continued neglect of the Church herself to provide for the spiritual wants of a rapidly increasing population. Various reasons may he assigned for the greater prevalence of Church attendance among the working classes of Scotland ; such as, the national reverence for the Sabbath as a day of religious rest and improvement; the popular character of our Presbyterian system ; and the fact that the ministers of a Presbyterian Church do not affect sacerdotal dignity and functions, but are content to stand on the same level with their people, and to sympathise with them, as men subject to like passions, and corruptions, aud temptations with themselves. (Applause.) But I allude to the subject here for the purpose of earnestly recommending to our students the cultivation of a style of preaching fitted to find its way to the understanding and heart and conscience of our working men. Assuredly one of the grandest achievements of a Church, and a noble testimony to her energy and usefulness, is when she succeeds in gathering this class into her ranks ; wben the gospel being preached to the poor, " the common people hear it gladly;" and the mass of the population thus becomes leavened with Christian principle. But it is not ordinary preaching that will accomplish this most desirable result. Mere verbal prettinesses, artificial flowers, will not do it. Wire-drawn metaphysical disquisitions will not do it. The rambling volubility of extemporaneous address will not do it. (Laughter and applause.) No; but let the preacher deal with the grand truths of the gospel, carefully digested, vividly illustrated, and faithfully applied, and let him pour forth the fruits of conscientious study from a heart overflowing with sympathy with toiling, suffering humanity, and, as bas been proved over and over