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THE MISSIONARY REPORTER.
EDITED BY J. T. RUSSELL, CORRESPONDING SECRETARY.
DECEMBER 1, 1831.
SYNODS AND PRESBYTERIES OF 3d. That the Stated Clerk of Synod be THE WEST,
directed to transmit a copy of the above In our last number, we published the nods named in the minute of the Gene
resolutions of the Moderators to the Syresolutions which have recently been i ral Assembly, and to the next General adopted by the Presbyteries of West Assembly, Lexington, Steubenville, Redstone, and Miami, on the subject of Domestic Mis
SYNOD OF KENTUCKY. sions, and the Missionary Convention at The following preamble and resolu. Cincinnati. We now publish the resolutions. were adopted at the late stated tions of several other Synods and Pres- first resolution unanimously, the pream
meeting of the Synod of Kentucky; the byteries on the same subjects; and we ble and second resolution by large major. earnestly invite the special attention of ities. our readers, to these very important offi
The General Assembly of the Presbycial documents. They express the sen- mended to the Synods and Presbyterjes
terian Church at its last meeting, recomtiments of the Western churches in lan- of the church in the West, to agree on guage so plain, and unequivocal, that, he some plan for conducting Missions in the who runs, may read and understand. Valley of the Mississippi. In consequence
of this recommendation, it becomes the SYNOD OF CINCINNATI.
duty of this Synod to express its opinions The Committee, on the recommenda- on this important subject. tion of the General Assembly, and the The power to send Missions to any communication of the Synod of Ohio, onpart, to plant churches, or to supply vathe subject of Home Missions, recom-|| cancies, is one of great importance. The mended the adoption of the following peace and prosperity of our church deresolutions,
pend on the proper exercise of this powResolved 1st. That as the Presbyte- || er:-Those who wield it can give to the ries of the Synod are already auxiliary || church almost any character they please, to the Board of Missions of the General and the question to be decided is, where Assembly, or to the American Home can this power be deposited to do the Missionary Society, allowing to individ- | most good, with the least danger of abuse. uals and churches the privilege of co-op-||The tendency of all power is to accumu. erating with either of them which they lation and abuse; and has been a matter of may preter; and as no regulation in the great difficulty in church and state to power of the Synod to adopt, can oblige select proper agents to execute imporindividuals or churches to contribute tant trusts, and to secure their strict ac. contrary to their own views; a full and countability. The powers of government fair experiment of the measure already have been usually vested in one man, or adopted ought to be made before any | a few men, and the result has been the other method is proposed.
abuse of their authority, and the oppres20. That as no effort which this Synod sion and misery of the great body of the can make would be likely to induce all community. Power once obtained has the ministers and churches to unite ei-| been held with a firm hand, and the only ther with the Assembly's Board, or the remedy in most cases has been revoluA. H.M. S, so it would be equally fruit- ||tion. less to attempt an amalgamation or united The statesmen who formed the civil agency of those two institutions, or even government of our country adopted the the erection of a new Board to conflict principle that the people are the source with those already in existence, because of all power, and provided for their choosa united agency, or a new Board, woulding and removing the officers of governbe likely to foster old collisions, and ment. Should those in office abuse the originate new ones instead of allaying and trust reposed in them, the people upon removing them.
whom their acts operate will soon see VOL. IX.-Ch. Adv. 4P
and feel it, and apply the remedy. The which now link together the various same principles are recognized in the parts." government of our church, and we be The rulers in our church have been lieve they are “agreeable to scripture.” careful to prevent collisions between its All our churches in the United States various parts, and to secure them from constitute one church, in which a major foreign interference. In our Directory ity governs. Those who exercise author. for worship, chap. 6th, it is provided, ity in the church are elected by, and are that it is expedient that no person be accountable to, the people.
introduced to preach in any of the The General Assembly which is elec- churches under our care, without the ted annually, is the highest judicatory in consent of the pastor, or church session, the church, and represents in one body, The “Form of government” provides, all the particular churches of our denom- that when any Presbytery shall send ination. It “constitutes the bond of any of their ministers or probationers to union, peace, correspondence, and mu, distant vacancies, the Missionary shall tual confidence among all the churches.” be ready to produce his credentials to "To it belongs the power of superintend: the Presbytery, or Presbyteries through ing the concerns of the whole church," the bounds of which he may pass, or at and of “sending Missions to any part, | least to a committee thereof, and obtain to plant churches, or to supply vacan- their approbation.” And to the General cies,
Assembly alone is given the power “to Shall we now change the constitution send Missions to any part, to plant church. of our church, which all our ministers, es, or to supply vacancies.” Recent elders and deacons have publicly and events have demonstrated the wisdom of solemnly approved, and take from the these regulations. whole church, through their representa It has been objected that the General tives, the power of conducting our Mis- Assembly is not a safe depository of powsions, and vest the power in a part of the er, and that there is no security in its church, or any other body of men? annual election, because the whole
Who would most faithfully perform church may become corrupt, and that this high and important trust? And if this is possible, the history of the church it be abused, where can the remedy be in past ages affords sufficient proof, and most easily and certainly applied. The then the General Assembly itself would members of the General Assembly are | be a most terrible engine of evil. If the elected annually, and if they do not faith- || whole church be not a safe depository of fully represent the churches, they will the power of conducting its own missions, not be re-elected, but others will be cho. || it is not of any other power. But there sen who will represent them. If our is safety in the annnal election of the Missionary concerns were all under the General Assembly until the church does control of the General Assembly, effi- become corrupt; and it is more liable to cient and useful Missionaries would be become corrupt than a Missionary Sociemployed, and our union cemented. Forety composed of all who will pay their should the General Assembly, or their money? agents, so far forget their duty as to be. The history of the world in past ages come the organs of a party, the days of affords sufficient proof that Republics their power would be numbered. But if have become corrupt, and then the peo- · independent Missionary Societies have ple were not safe depositories of power, power to send Missions into all our Shall we therefore abandon our repubchurches, they will be formed by par. lican institution, and bestow the powers ties, and conducted to promote party of government on a few—a society or a purposes. Where is the remedy? The king; or have no government at all
. The church will be afflicted with continual time may come when all men, under the ecclesiastical warfare, its union and peace influence of the gospel, will do right, and destroyed, and it will have no power to then there will be no necessity for any prevent it.
governrnent. But melancholy experience In favour of the union of our church, tells us that this time has not yet come: we would adopt the language of Wash- and so long as it is necessary to vest pow. ington, concerning the union of this Re-er somewhere, we subscribe to the docpublic: "We should watch for its preser-trine that a majority of the whole shall vation with zealous anxiety; discounte- govern. nancing whatever may suggest even a Entertaining the foregoing opinions we suspicion that it can in any event be aban- have come to the following resolutions, doned: and indignantly frowning upon viz. the first dawning of every attempt to ali 1. Resolved, That we still approve of enate any portion of our (church) from the form of our church government on the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties l the subject of Missions; and that we will
SYNOD OF PITTSBURGH.
not agree to any plan for conducting two institutions, some other remedy Missions in the Valley of the Mississippi, should be sought; the friends of the Home which shall take that important power Missionary Society should consent to act from the control of the representatives through the Board rather than attempt to of the whole church in the General As-compel the Board to act through any sembly.
other than an ecclesiastical organization. 2. Resolved, That it be recommend- Your committee, therefore, recommend ed to all the Presbyteries connected with the adoption of the following resolution: this Synod, to send delegates to the pro Resolved, That in the opinion of this posed' Convention on the subject of Mis- Synod, the Board of Missions of the Gensions, which is to be held in the city of eral Assembly should be left to conduct Cincinnati, on the 23d of November, their missionary operations on the plan 1831,
which they have pursued with so much success for the three last years; and that no such connection between that Board
and the American Home Missionary SoThe Committee appointed to take into ciety, as is contemplated, ought to be consideration the resolution of the last formed. General Assembly relative to missions in the Valley of the Mississippi, beg leave to report:
SYNOD OF ILLINOIS. That in their opinion the Synod is called upon to give a distinct expression of The Synod of Illinois, in session at their views in relation to this subject. Hillsborough, have had under considera. The friends of the American Home Mis- tion the subject of Domestic Missions, sionary Society allege that the separate and have endeavoured to ascertain the action of that institution, and the Assem- best mode of conducting them within bly's Board of Missions, has produced their bounds. They have viewed with very unpleasant collisions and animosi- regret the apparently conflicting interests ties in the church; and in view of these of the two great missionary Boards. Our evils, they have called on the General missionaries are from both, and find Assembly' to compel their Board to con- then selves obliged to unite all their efduct all their missions in the Valley of forts in building up the public churches the Mississippi, throngh a board of agen- of this wide waste. We have enemies to cy at Cincinnati, who shall at the same meet, and conflict with, who leave us no time, be the agents through whom alone time, nor strength to contend with each the American Home Missionary Society other in regard to those great and good will operate in that Valley.
institutions, which bless us, and our peoTo this course your committee object, ple with their patronage. We love, and on the ground that it would be a virtual cherish; and pray for both, as the foun. surrender of the principle on which that tains of benevolence; and we look to board was originally organized, and on them, we cry to them, unceasingly, which it was re-organized in 1828-a “Come over and help us. When a principle which your committee believe messenger comes, filled with love, and is interwoven with the very constitution joy, and peace, from either, we all hail of the church of Christ—that the him as a brother, and buckle on the harmanagement and control of missions be-ness with him, as “true yokefellow." long to the church through her judicato- But should our brethren continue to send ries. The great Head of the Church in- among us pamphlets, whose tendency tended her to be a missionary society, must be to stir up wrath, or, should they, and gave her that organization, which in at any time, send agents unhappily disthe view of infinite wisdom, was best cal- posed to sow the seeds of strife and sediculated to render her a safe and efficient tion, we must turn away our eyes and missionary society: Believing this to weep for wounds, which will thus be inhave been one of the ends for which the ficted on our beloved Zion. church was instituted; and believing the To shut out these evils from among us, Presbyterian form of organization or and close our doors against all efforts to government to have been chosen by the introduce them, in future, we express our King of Zion, your committee believe, strong desire, that the missionary operathat our duty to him imperiously, requirestions within our bounds may be under us to employ that organization in our the contract of committees appointed by missionary operations. And they believe our own judicatories. Therefore, it to be not only more safe, but more ef Resolved, that the Assembly's Board of ficient than any that man can devise. If Missions, and the Board of the Home the evils complained of are the necessary Missionary Society, be respectfully re. results of the separate action of these quested to communicate freely with our
Presbyterial and Synodical Committees, | the Constitution of the Presbyterian on all important subjects connected with Church in the United States. Missionary operations within our bounds, 3. Resolved, That this Presbytery and without the mediation of any other does not perceive the necessity or proBoard whatever.
priety of deciding or adopting any other Adopted, unanimously, at Hillsbo- plan for conducting Domestic Missions rough, Illinois, the 17th of September, than that now pursued by the Assembly's 1831.
Board. Signed by order of the Synod,
4. Resolved, That a copy of the above John G. BERGEN, Moderator. resolutions be forwarded to the Chairman William S. Potts, Clerk of Synod. of the convention to be held in Cincinnati;
and that he be informed that this PresPRESBYTERY OF WEST TENNESSEE.
bytery is entitled to four representatives Almost every day brings some refresh- in the General Assembly. ing intelligence to the hearts of those
These resolutions passed twelve to who have been trembling for the fate of one. the Presbyterian church. The lethargy
It will be observed that many of the which has prevailed, and the evils which members were not in attendance, whose have been gradually admitted, seemed presence we are assured would have into threaten her very existence; but a
creased the majority. healthful reaction is taking place, which promises new life and power to the whole
PRESBYTERY OF VINCENNES. body. She is rousing up from her base slumbers, and we hope soon to see purity
Vincennes, Oct. 26, 1831. and harmony restored, and her undivid To the Moderator, and other members ed energies directed to her master's of the Convention, met at Cincinnati, for work. A struggle, however, must first the purpose of recommending to the take place. We lament its necessity, but General Assembly of the Presbyterian rejoice in its approach; assured that she Church, the best method of conducting will come forth purified from the fire, Missionary operations, within the Valley and strengthened by the tempest. The of the Mississippi. following has been kindly furnished us The Presbytery of Vincennes sendeth by a correspondent:
greeting“It will gratify the friends of the As Dear Brethren:-We have thought it sembly's Board of Missions to learn the not absolutely necessary to appoint comcourse taken on the all-absorbing subject missioners to attend your meeting. We of Missions by the Presbytery of West pray the Great Head of the Church to Tennessee, at its late session. The sub-preside in your deliberations, and to diject of a convention being brought up by rect them to such an issue as may best the Stated Clerk, in handing in an over-promote his glory, and the peace and ture from the Preshytery of West Lex- prosperity of his kingdom in these reington, after considerable discussion a gions. committee was appointed to prepare a It is greatly to be deprecated that any minute for the Presbytery, whích, as thing should arise to interrupt the harmo nearly as I can recollect, was as follows: ny, or distract the efforts of the friends
Presbytery having considered at length of Missions at any time, but especially the overture from West Lexington, in now, when the call for such efforts is so reference to the proposed convention in | urgent; and for ourselves, we can sinCincinnati, as well as the general subject cerely say, in reference to those sent out to which it relates, adopted the following amidst the desolations of this vast counresolutions-viz:
try, to preach Christ, and bim crucified 1. Resolved, That this Presbytery do to the guilty and the perishing, by whommost cordially approve of the presentsoever they may be sent, we do rejoice organization of the Board of Missions of that Christ is preached by them; yea, the General Assembly; and of the mode and we will rejoice. Union of affection of conducting Domestic Missions as pur- and sentiment we greatly long for among sued by the said Board.
all who are professedly engaged in pro2. Resolved, That while this Preshy-moting the cause of Christ; without this, tery cheerfully admit that the A. H. M. union in action is not desirable. Society has been the instrument of much That the agency of the Assembly's good in propagating the Gospel in desti-| Board of Missions should be relinquished tute places, and while they rejoice in the entirely, none can expect, who know any good thus accomplished, they do fee! thing of the events of the years that have themselves especially bound to patronize past since the commencement of the the Assembly's Board, and to extend its present century; and while it continues, influence, as being more congenial with we have no desire that its operations in
the west should undergo any new modi- || tion which is to meet on the 23d of Nov. fication. Hoping, therefore, that you will next, in that city. excuse the appearance of a representa Resolved 5. "That the Rev. George tion in your presence, on our behalf, we Potts be, and he is hereby appointed in wish our vote to be considered, and if ne- behalf of this Presbytery, to hold corres-cessary, recorded in favor of the present pondence with the Convention, or any order of things, as observed by the Gen- committee of correspondence which that eral Assembly's Board, in relation to body may appoint. missionary operations in the Valley of the
W. C. BLAIR, Moderator. Mississippi.
JAMES SMYLIE, Stated Clerk.
PRESBYTERY OF INDIANAPOLIS,
This Presbytery met at Hopewell
Stated Clerk. New Hope, Vigo Co. Ind. Octf7, 1831.
Church, Johnson County, Ind, on the 13th October. Rev. David Monfort was chosen Moderator, and the Rev. Wm.
W. Woods clerk. Besides the ordinary PRESBYTERY OF MISSISSIPPI. business of Presbytery, the subject of Port Gibson, Miss. Oct. 13, 1831,
missionary operations was introduced,
which was referred to a select commitThe following Preamble and Resolu- tee, who reported the following resolutions were introduced, discussed, and tions, which were adopted by the Prespassed at the meeting of the Mississippi bytery: Presbytery, now in session in this place; 1. Resolved, That this Presbytery viz:
entertain the fullest confidence in the Whereas, the subject of Missions is, Board of Missions of the General Assemin the opinion of this Presbyterp, of vital | bly of the Presbyterian Church. That importance to the peace,purity, and pros- the plan of conducting domestic misperity of the Church, and whereas, the sions, adopted and pursued by that Assembly's Board of Missions, who send Board, meets our entire approbation. forth Missionaries, and control our Mis 2. Resolved, That we consider it the sionary Funds, are appointed by and ac- province and duty of the Presbyterian countable to the General Assembly for Church in her distinctive character, to their acts and the American Home conduct the missionary operations within Missionary Society (whose labours of her own bounds; and that a Board of love we nevertheless appreciate) is not, Missions, all of whose official acts are -Therefore
subject to the review of the Supreme JuResolved 1. That this Presbytery, for | dicatory of the Church, does afford a the above reason, do hereby give the de- pledge for the maintenance of purity in cided preference to the Assembly's doctrine and discipline, which is not, and Board of Missions, in conducting our cannot be, afforded by any voluntary asMissionary operations.
sociation of irresponsible individuals. Resolved 2. That as our Presbyter 3. Resolved, That this Presbytery being nineteen in number, is entitled to are opposed to any amalgamation of the a representation in the General Assem- | Board of Missions with the A. H. M. bly, of 2 ministers, and 2 elders, the Society, as they believe that neither the Convention which is to assemble at Cin- || peace nor purity of the Church would cinnati, in November next, be, and it be in any way promoted by such an hereby is directed, to give on all ques- | amalgamation; and, moreover, as the tions which may come before the Con- Book of discipline makes it the duty of vention, the yotes of this Presbytery, in the General Assembly to conduct misaccordance with the first resolution. sionary operations, and as these opera
Resolved 3. That in compliance with tions are now in successful progress, we the recommendation of the West Lex.consider it our duty as Presbyterians, to ington Presbytery, this Presbytery set sustain, by our countenance and patronapart the 1st Thursday of November, as | age, that' Board which is the constitua day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, tional organ of that branch of the Church in reference to the Convention and its ob- l) to which we belong. ject.
4. Resolved, That this Presbytery Resolved 4. That the Rev. George | deem the contemplated convention for Potts, of Natchez, without delay, send a the purpose of consulting on the subject copy of the above Preamble and Resolu- of missionary operations in the Valley of tions to Dr. Joshua L. Wilson, or somethe Mississippi, entirely unnecessary, as other minister of Cincinnati, and that he they believe that no more safe, economibe requested to present it to the Conven- || cal, or judicious system of operations can