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though, if we had men at command, we could locate five hundred men in less than six months at points where they are needed, if we had the men and the means to support them.
Another consideration is that, wherever you have a town of two thousand or three thousand people, there is such a large Presbyterian element that you can start a church and schools at once--as I believe every Presbyterian Church, to be thoroughly warmed and worked, should have a pastor and a school as well. But can we do that when in localities where we have two thousand or three thousand of a population, many are Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, or connected with other bodies, and perhaps not more than half-a-dozen or a dozen families Presbyterian out of the whole ? You can thus see the difficulty of establishing churches and schools where people are not disposed to unite to support them. Still, we believe in the Presbyterian form of Church government, and hope to see the day when our country will be as thoroughly Presbyterian as your country. But it will take time. In the meantime, we are doing the best we can. What we want principally is more men, better men, and better means to sustain the gospel than we have; and above all else, what we want in the American Church is a baptism of the Holy Spirit. That will make us more united—it will give us men to go forth to preach the gospel—it will give us the means. When God's people are baptized with His Spirit, they are ready to give to His cause ; that, too, will cure the Church of formality and of ritualism. Learning will not do ; nothing but the Spirit of God will do. I trust we shall bave your prayers that God will baptize our Church with His Spirit.
Rev. Mr MacCRACKEN next addressed the Assembly. He said, Moderator,— It was my first thought, in the safe mean between those of the old Assembly going before, and those of other American Churches following upon the roll of the deputation, to enjoy the cushioned seat provided those from a far country, and sit in silence. But the reading of the letter of commendation has introduced me as occupying a position different in a measure from my brethren. It bas pleased the stated clerk of our Assembly, the honoured Dr Alexander T. Macgill, professor in Princeton, to name me as representative of the younger ministers and younger men of the Presbyterian body. Will it be wrong, then, if a moment is occupied, if it be only to endorse, in the name of the younger men and ministers of America, what has already been spoken ?
It is true that not only young men, but a very young portion of Christianised America, is represented by me. An aged clergyman of the Presbyterian Church in the city where I have laboured, died two or three years since. He was the first minister in that region, and was commissioned not so long ago as 1800, as “missionary to Obio and the parts adjacent !” And whether in the name of young men or of new Presbyteries of the Church, I would claim peculiar relations to this Free Church of Scotland. The first impressions made upon me when a boy, what ministers much older cannot say—respecting religious effort in Europe, had their source in the fountain newly opened in the country of my fathers. It was in the house of a missionary, upon what was then the frontier. A guest came to the house—always a great event to the children of those living in the midst of the forest, almost unbroken ; the more when it was a minister, but far transcending in interest when, as at this time, the guest was one fresh returned from the other side of the
ocean. It may be believed that the children were allowed to sit up far into the night hours. Upon the mind of myself, a mere lad at my father's knee, the stories of the splendours of royal display, and of art and nature, more grand, made deep impress ; but of that night's conversation, more lasting than all the rest, was the rehearsal by the young student, of his intercourse with the men of the Free Scottish Church, and of the glowing lessons of truth from your own glorious Chalmers. It becomes me, for the influence thus beginning, and never ceasing, to own to-night, in this great presenco, how deep an obligation! Is it strange if the younger men, who have grown contemporaneous with this Church, stand very near to you in respect to all the important questions upon which Christian minds are now concentrating? They rejoice to say that they inscribe upon the banner they bear that which is emblazoned in bright letters upon yours—the word FREE. A few years since we felt they could not, as the Church struggled on with slavery a heavy burden; but Providence, not we, has loosed the cords, and now we lift ourselves up--we, the younger men, who hardly knew how, with the load growing upon us, we could ever walk straight, now say that we are free !
A second point in which we, whose lives are measured by your life, trust that we are one, is the desire and effort for the speedy re-uniting of the now sundered fragments of the Presbyterian host. An incident may best illustrate how it is with the younger American ministers. Last year, at the Synod of New York, I had the pleasure of meeting four of my fellow-students of whom I had lost sight. Naturally there were many inquiries exchanged regarding our labours. I asked one, “ Brother A, What Church have you ?” “Oh, I have the New School Church of M."
" What is yours ?” I said to B. “Mine is the Church of the New School at N.” And so it was with Brother C and D. Every one of the four, brought up at the feet of Dr Hodge, “after the straitest sect,” if you please, was in charge of a congregation of “the other branch.” Is it marvellous if the young men, whose position this fairly illustrates, arə anxious for organic and immediate union ?
In a third point we would stand with you. In this afternoon’s session an eloquent speaker, whose praise is in all the Churches—I mean him whom you have elected missionary professor, Dr Duff-was emphatic in his expression that faith in prayer was the great power, that as it had been proven in the foundation of this professorship, in some respects so extraordinary, it would be in the world's awakening. This we would make our sentiment; but there is another expression of what we believe concerning this that is stronger than anything I can utter. One of the young business inen of a city of Illinois is in this Assembly to-night, who for seven or eight weeks past has engaged himself, with others in London, to establish in Aldersgate Street a "business men's daily prayer
I heard it announced yesterday week by Mr Spurgeon, that the meeting was in progress, and would be conducted by bimself at noon the next day. Attending the Fulton Street meeting of New York city, a few days before sailing, there was observable no decrease of life in that service of nearly ten years' standing. But it is said that already this London noon-day meeting affords signs of prosperity that place it before every other. It is faith in prayer that is the minister's and the Christian's power. The church in which I last worshipped in America was that of the late Dr Murray, or “ Kirwan.” There prayer meetings were
held daily, and, at that one, about one hundred persons remained to ask the petitions of Christian people. There were old men, men of middle age, those in prominent positions in life, with the young and strong, all bowing in answer to intercession. Thus faith in prayer is the arm of our power.
In the French anniversaries it was said by the eminent Professor of Theology at Lausanne, as he spoke of the evangelisation of Paris, “The power of the Reformed Church, in her years of struggle, was in the fact that the burghers of the south and the nobles of the capital alike stood up and said, squarely, “I believe.'” It seemed to me, as I heard the expressions of our brethren there, that in their separation within a year past from the Rationalistic party, and their call for a General Assembly, such as they have not had since Louis XIV., they too are rallying to the good fight of faith. As I looked upon “ The Battle of Ivry,” a noble picture at Versailles, it was to me a picture of the Christians of that apostate empire. When Henry of Navarre rode into that battle he charged his followers, when they lost sight of all else, to rally to the place where they saw his shining helmet.
“Press where ye see my white plume shine
Amid the ranks of war,
The helmet of Navarre !" So Jesus is calling, and those French Christians are answering and gathering in humble trust around our blest Captain ! So are we anxious to be one with you, in this thing above all others, for forms and political beliefs are trifles comparatively; in one thing, faith in prayer for the triumph of Jesus!“We believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” “Whom He hath appointed heir of all things ;” and that as we go forth discipling all nations, Thou “ wilt be with us alway, even unto the end of the world.” So let it be!
Dr ADAMS.—Moderator and brethren of the Free Church Assembly, although it has been my privilege to have spent thirteen years in Europe, two of them in England, Ireland, and Wales, visiting those sections somewhat extensively, I had not the happiness, until last Thursday, of stepping on the soil of your country. I am happy now to find myself in Scotland—the land of glorious mountains and lovely lakes-land of schools and knowledge, where the ploughboy emerges into poetic fame, and he who hammers the “Old Red Sandstone” may trace in it the “ Footprints of the Creator”-land of song, coming to our ear in the wild notes of Ossian, and in the gentle music of Robert Burns and Allan Ramsay-land of metaphysics and argument, whose logic lightning has flashed across the Atlantic—land of pulpit orators whose words have wakened echoes in the New World-land of the Catechism and the Bible, at whose ingle-sides families gather in the morning and the evening hour, " then kneeling down to heaven's eternal King, the saint, the father, and the husband prays”—land of heroes and patriots who shed their blood for Home, and Country, and Kirk—land which at this day illustrates the grandeur of Christian sacrifice and the majesty of true faith. I am happy, sir, to appear before you as one of the deputies to bring you greeting from the Presbyterian New School Free Church in America. I say, free; and I think we have a claim to this appellation, für we were delivered from the burden and the curse of slavery before
our honoured brethren of the other branch had the power or the courage to achiere their emancipation. When I entered Philadelphia about nine years ago, having gone thither for my health, I was drawn into the New School relation, mainly because of its exemption from the great national sin. I had no objection to the Old School doctrines, rather am I claimed to be on the side of the Old School because of my religious views. The body which we represent is not small. Although not quite so large as the other branch, it numbers about 1700 churches and as many ministers, and we have not far from 120,000 communicants. We operate in our Christian work as you do, through the agency of the Assembly’s Board3-namely, Foreign Missions, Home Missions, Publication, Education, Church Erection, and Ministerial Aid. Our Board of Foreign Missions is in harmony with the American Board of Commission for Foreign Missions, yet we feel deeply the need of independent action, whereby the 100,000 dols. contributed by our churches annually may be expended more in harmony with our own views of Church organisation. When the two branches of our great family shall unite again, we can easily fall into the already existing agency for foreign missions.
Two years ago, our Board of Publication, which is doing a great and increasing work, secured 50,000 dols, as a permanent fund, enabling us to donate printed matter to Sabbath schools and churches which are too poor to purchase. You will readily see, from the words of Dr Hickok with regard to the extent of our territory and the increase of our population, which amounts to not less than 1,500,000 annually, that the Home Mission is our greatest work. To this we contribute about 100,000 dols., sustaining missions and schools in fourteen of the States. We have no occasion for regretting our peaceful separation from the American Home Missionary Society, and putting forth our denominational energy in our own way. Much of our home mission work is among the freedmen, and yet we contribute largely, as a body, to other associations for the benefit of this class. And you will be gratified to know that in this field of Christian effort the results are greater than we could have predicted. Multitudes of the coloured race in our country are too old and too confirmed in the habits of ignorance ever to be greatly elevated ; but there are more than a million between the ages of five and fifteen years. These, with many much older, are full of promise. Already 200,000 have learned to read and write since the Act of Emancipation. There are now in Florida one hundred schools for them, some supported by their own contributions. In Georgia there are one hundred and fifty schools ; and many in most of the other once rebel States. One of the most interesting and hopeful features, in relation to the freedmen, is their intense desire for knowledge. Let them remain free, and they will be educated, whether we aid them or not. It is my privilege and honour to be connected, as a trustee, with the Lincoln University, Oxford, Pennsylvania, in which one hundred young men of colour are prosecuting their education, sicty of them studying for the Christian ministry. When they graduate they go South, some to preach, others to teach among
their own people. I was informed by the president of this institution, that the pupils are so earnest in the pursuit of knowledge, as to commence their studies at three o'clock in the morning, and continue without intermission, except for meals and exercise, until ten at night; and that he had not been called to rebuke any of them for im
propriety from the beginning to the end of the year. An instance is related of John Green, once a slave, and afterwards employed by one of our chaplains in the army. One morning John arose early to prepare the fire for his master, while the latter remained in bed. He bad often taught John, and now listened to him in dialogue with himself, and unconscious of his master's notice. He had kindled the fire, and by the light of it, endeavoured to read this sentence, “ Thou, Gud, seest me.” He began to spell the first word, “ T-h-0—u.” “ John Green,” said he to himself
, " what is that? what did master say that was ?” Looking and hesitating, he at last uttered, “Thou.
“ John Green, you have it.” Thus he spelled and pronouuced, stumbling considerably at “seest," but finally deciphering the whole, and reading it, “ Thou-God --seest-me!” Then, stretching up to his full height, he exclaimed,
“John Green, you have it; John Green, you can read ; John Green, you're a man ! " Was not that like the birth of a soul? the springing of an immortal mind into inward freedom? Can anything be more sublime in the history of humanity?
It ought to be stated, that in proportion as the freedmen are educated, they demand a more solid discipline, and tend to a more scriptural view of truth. They have been wont to consider themselves Methodists, and taught that religion consists in violent emotion and demonstration ; but as they grow in knowledge another element of their nature reveals itself. They discover sometbing within their minds deeper than mere feeling. They can think and reason. They feel the need of cultivating the more solid part of their intellectual being, and that culture leads them to a more stable and profound view of doctrinal truth. They are tending surely to Presbyterianism. They have learned, by their sufferings, to trust in God, and they believe in His sovereignty. Those who are educated in the Catechism see its harmony and truth, and their mental as well as moral tone is thereby settled and sustained.
Perhaps I ought to say a word about the union of our two branches in America. I am happy to hear the words of Dr Hickok. I endorse all that he said, and more. There is no good reason for the continued separation of our two denominations. We all take the “ Confession of Faith" as our standard. The spirit of heresy-hunting lingers in the breasts of only a few good old men; the vast majority of our laymeu regard the difference as an old quarrel of ministers, and feel that it ought to be forgotten. The question is often asked, What is the distinction between the Old School and the New in point of doctrine? I know of no better answer than this, The Old School believe that all men sinned in Adam; and the New School, that in Adam all sinned! Were you to divide the Old School into two parties, you would find the half of them as low in doctrine as most of the New School; and were you thus to divide the New School, you would find the half of them as high in doctrine as the most of the Old School. Everything that has divided us is passing, and will soon be gone. The committees appointed by the two Assemblies have already, as the telegraph informs us, agreed on the basis of re-union. The terms are-assent to the standards. It will not be long before our Boards and property can be adjusted, we fervently hope; and then we shall have a denomination of 4000 churches, as many ministers of the gospel, and 300,000 members. But there is a better union than that of mere denominations. The spokes of a wheel are very