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rality, apostacy to it should be regarded as an evidence either of a peculiar species of monomania, a profound ignorance of the meaning of the terms employed, or of the want of that humility, without which all pretensions to piety are vain.
Be jealous of any system of mental philosophy, the principles of which naturally lead to the adoption of this great error, so contrary to the word of God, and the conscious experience of the most eminent believers. It is worthy of very serious inquiry, (if indeed there be any room to doubt on the subject,) whether some modern speculations concerning moral agency, and the divine influence in the production of holiness, have not contributed largely to the existence and progress of the peculiar form of this error, which has within the last few years, swept, like a simoom, over some of the fairest portions of our Zion. Guard, with constant vigilance, the citadel of truth at its very vestibule.
Christian reader! “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines; for it is a good thing that the heart be . established with grace, not with meats, which have not profited them, that have been occupied therein.”
This subject urges upon you most impressively the duty of a humble walk with God. Is it true, that sin mixes with and pollutes all your doings—your most disinterested charities, your holiest prayers, your most grateful praises? Is it true, that you will daily, hourly, every moment, need a fresh pardon, and the aid of all-conquering grace, till your feet shall stand on the shores of the celestial Canaan, with the harp of God in your hand, and the wreath of immortality encircling your brows? The dust then surely becomes you. There lie, and confess your sins, and acknowledge the justice of your condemnation, and weep with ingenuous sorrow, and beg for mercy.
Unite, with fervent prayer, untiring watchfulness and diligence. To this, your innumerable inward foes, ever ready for the assault, seem continually, vehemently, irresistibly, to urge you. In such a situation, can you sleep? Awake, for the powers of hell are near, and are eagerly pressing on to circumvent and destroy you. “Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Let not the reality of your continual imperfection be your
excuse; but rather let it excite you to more ardent exertions to reach the crown of life.
Be satisfied with nothing less than perpetual progress in holiness. You have but commenced the war; there remaineth yet much land to be possessed; go on from victory to victory, till not an inch of the promised territory shall continue in possession of the enemies of your Lord.
Persevere for a few days, and you will gain the perfect purity and bliss, after which your glowing heart aspires. No sound of clashing arms, no opposing hosts, are in heaven. Its quietude is never invaded by anxiety, or fear. Its holiness is untarnished as its pure light, and enduring as its years. Triumphant termination of conflicts and of wars ! Hasten, then blessed day, so long desired by the holy creation.
Adore the grace and faithfulness of your redeeming God. He has not only forgiven the sins of your unregenerate days, but he has borne with your renewed provocations since your conversion--your ingratitude, your coldness, your worldliness, your self-seeking, your manifold abuses of his love. Nor will he leave unfinished the work which he has begun. He will guide you by his counsel, and afterwards receive you to glory. Thus will he keep, bless, save, all the armies of the ransomed, to the praise of his glorious grace forever. What patience, what condescension, what unfainting, boundless love! “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, for his wonderful works to the children of men.”
Art. IV.- The General Assembly of 1842.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, met agreeably to appointment, in the Seventh Presbyterian church, in the city of Philadelphia, on Thursday, the 19th of May, A. D. 1842, and was opened with a sermon by the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, D. D., moderator of the last Assembly, from 2 Thess. i. 11. The number of delegates in attendance was between one hundred and forty and one hundred and fifty. The Rev. John T. Edgar, D. D., was elected moderator, and Rev. Willis Lord, temporary clerk.
Devotional Exercises. On motion of Dr. Breckinridge, the following resolutions were adopted, viz.
Resolved, 1. That there shall be preaching before the Assembly every secular evening during its present sessions; and this shall be in lieu of the religious exercises usually set for a particular day, during the Sessions of the Assembly.
2. That it shall be the duty of the Committee on devotional exercises to appoint members of this body to conduct these services from day to day, to designate the respective times and places in which these services shall be held, and to give due notice thereof; and those persons to appointed are hereby required to perform this service, according to their ability.
3. Such houses of worship, in this city and liberties, as may be put at the disposal of the Assembly for this purpose, shall be reported to the aforesaid Committee, and supplied in the manner herein provided.
4. This arrangement shall commence on Monday evening next.
The Nestorian Bishop. On motion of Dr. Breckinridge, it was Resolved, That Mar Yohannan, Bishop of the Nestorian Christians, of Ooromiah, in Persia, now on a visit to the United States, and at present in this city, be invited to sit with the Assembly; that a seat be provided for him near the Moderator; and that the Moderator invite him to address the Assembly, at such time as may suit his convenience.
In compliance with this invitation, Mar Yohannan, attended by Rev. Mr. Perkins, missionary of the American Board to Persia, (who also was invited to sit with the Assembly,) entered the house and took his seat by the Moderator. After a short pause, the Bishop rose, and through Mr. Perkins, as his interpreter, addressed the Assembly in the following terms:
“ He felt peculiar pleasure in meeting such a body of clergy together as this. He had been delighted to observe the two great characteristics of the clergy, viz.: education and piety. In this he sees the secret of the darkness that prevails in his own country and the light in this. In his country the clergy are able to chaunt merely in an unknown tongue, and not to interpret to the people. The clergy are the eye of the church, and if that eye is blind and dark, both clergy and people will fall into the ditch. Here they are educated, and love and fear God, but in his country it is directly the reverse. He had been deeply impressed since coming here with their lack of knowledge and still greater lack of love to God; for the apostle has justly said that knowledge without love is nothing. He was happy to see the brotherly love that prevails among Christians in this country, and he prays that it may increase more and more. He also
takes great pleasure in recognizing the clergy of this Assembly as brethren in the Lord and brethren in the ministry of Christ, and he desires their prayers for his people and particularly for the clergy of his country, that they may be truly converted to God and thus be prepared to break unto that famishing people, the bread of life.”
After exchanging salutations with members of the Assembly, the venerable Bishop took leave of the body, the House rising and bidding him a respectful and affectionate farewell.
Property of Lane Seminary. Rev. Mr. McDonald submitted to the Assembly, papers of the Kemper family in Ohio, conveying a large amount of property to the Lane Theological Seminary. These papers, and the whole subject to which they related, were referred to a select committee, consisting of Judge Thompson, Messrs. Breckinridge, Galloway, McDonald, and Fullerton. This committee subsequently made the following report, which was adopted, viz. Resolved, That the Trustees of the General Assembly be requested to inquire into the facts relating to the Lane Seminary, near the city of Cincinnati, and if they find that the proviso in the deed of the 9th of December, 1829, from Elnathan Kemper, and others, to the Trustees of the Lane Seminary has been disregarded by the appointment of “ Professors and teachers who are not members of the Presbyterian church, under the care of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States of America,” that they take advice of counsel learned in the laws of Ohio, and if they shall be advised that the laws of the state furnish an adequate remedy in the case, that they institute the proper proceedings to enforce the observance of the said provisos. It was further Resolved, That a copy of the aforesaid resolutions be transmitted to the Board of Trustees of the General Assembly, together with the copy of the deed referred to, and the other documents in the case.
On a subsequent day the Rev. William Chester moved a reconsideration of this vote. The reconsideration was ably and strenuously opposed by Dr. Breckinridge and others, who urged among other considerations the following arguments. The Rev. James Kemper wished to appropriate a farm for the purpose of a Theological Manual Labour Seminary. His own farm not answering his purpose, he negotiated for one in possession of his son, and having purcha
sed it, applied it as above specified. This accounts for the deed being in the name of Elnathan Kemper, the son, who in consequence has by some been supposed the donor. This property, which is in the borders of the city of Cincinnati, consists of seventy acres of land, and is supposed to be worth seventy or eighty thousand dollars. According to the terms of the deed, the property was put in trust for a Theological Seminary, with the proviso that the professors should be in connexion with the Presbyterian church, under the care of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States of America. Mr. Kemper and his sons being Old School Presbyterians, there can be no doubt of their intention to found an orthodox Presbyterian Institution. Subsequent to this, Mr. Lane, a Baptist, as a thank offering for some successes in business, offered to his own denomination twenty thousand dollars, on condition that they would apply it to the establishment of a Theological Seminary, which they failing to do, he made the same offer to the Presbyterians, which being accepted, the sum, or so much of it as was actually received, was appropriated to the erection of buildings on the land given by the Kempers. The present professors of Lane Seminary have not the sanction of the General Assembly, and therefore the condition of the trust has been violated. Neither did Mr. Lane give his money to a body of Presbyterians, who had no organized existence at the time of the gift, so that the possession of the property of the New-School party is in plain contravention of the terms on which the property was contributed. The New School have, indeed, endowed the Professorships, and the interest only, and not the principal of these endowments has been paid. But these funds are entirely distinct from the property which it is now proposed to enquire after.
It was strongly urged that as the Assembly sat still and saw the trust created, there results a moral obligation on them to see it faithfully executed. If the deed conveyed the property to be used for the cause of Christ, under the direction of this church, it is our duty to our Lord and Master; our duty to the good men who gave the property ; to the heirs of those men who have now called our attention to the subject; it is a duty from which we must not shrink,
* See Presbyterian, June 4, 1842.