« PreviousContinue »
considered most useful to the students, be made by the Professor, and that they be transferred to Glasgow, to be placed under the charge of the Professor, and that a list of these books be lodged in the hands of Mr John Stevenson, the Synod's Curator of the Library. It being reported that a donation had been received from a gentleman in Canada, for assisting students in their education, the Clerk was ap pointed to communicate the thanks of the Synod to that gentleman. A cordial vote of thanks was also given to Wm. Buyers, Esq., formerly of Aberdeen, vow of Australia, for his repeated and liberal donations to the Synod's Mutual Assistance Scheme, and the Clerk was instructed to write him to that effect. A Memorial to the Queen, against the performance of military music on the Lord's Day, was read and adopted. It was agreed that the Memorial be signed by the Moderator and Clerk, and be transmitted to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for presentation. The report of the committee for allocating the sums collected for the Mutual Assistance Scheme was given in and approved. An interim
report was presented by the Comimittee appointed to prepare rules for ecclesiastical procedure, which was approved, and the committee was re-appointed to prosecute their labours in that matter.
It was agreed to vote £20 sterling for the present year, from the Synod's Mission Fund, to the Home Mission in connection with the congregation at Ayr. Proceeded to take up the resolutions anent practical evils, which were read; and after several amendments, they were unanimously adopted as follows:
"That this Synod, while maintaining a judicious testimony against prevailing errors in doctrine, and sinful practices and departures from the Covenanted Reforination once attained in these kingdoms, feels also called upon to express its condemnation of several practices recently introduced, and encouraged by many of wbom, from their profession and official standing, better things might have been expected, but which are effecting a complete change in the ecclesiastical and social feelings of the community.
"First, That this Synod cannot but view with alarm the increasing profanation of the Sabbath, visible throughout the land, nor fail to express its condemnation, more especially of the desecration of the Lord's Day by railway travelling, steamboat excursions, pleasure walks, the sale of confectionery and other goods, intemperance, visiting of cemeteries, gardens, and other public places of resort, the entertainment of company, neglecting of public worship, unnecessary labour in connection with public works, together with the authorised playing of military bands.
"Second, That while this Synod cordially approves of the abridgement of the hours of labour among the working classes, and especially of the Saturday half-holiday, where introduced ; and while it would encourage every legitimate means for proinoting the mental and physical health and vigour of all classes of the community, it views, with serious apprehension, the increasing tendency of the present age to seek pleasure alone during the hours of relaxation from business; and, consequently, feels constrained to pass an unqualified condemnation upon attendance at theatres, Saturday evening concerts, as practised in our cities, and other such places of public amusement, as calculated to unfit the mind for the duties of the Sabbatlı, to draw parents away from the discharge of domestic duties, and to present innumerable sources of temptation to the young, by which they are ultimately led to form those immoral habits which are permanently destructive to theniselves, and to all the interests of social life.
“Third, While this Synod regards with interest the cultivation and improvement of Sacred Music, with a view to harmony in family, social, and public worship, and would encourage every legitimate means for the promotion of that object, it cannot but view with indignation and dread the music mania at present existing, and which seems to have seized many professing Christians in this and other lands; and, more especially, it denounces oratorios as a daring profanation of sacred things. Further, that this Synod specially testifies against, and condemns, the use of instrumental music in the worship of God, and considers the recent attempts to introduce the organ among Presbyterians as indicating a tendency to return to the sensuous worship of the Anti-christian system.
"Fourth, That this Synod cannot view without alarm the various methods being employed in the circulation of Popish symbols and pictures, such as the cross, the crucifixion, and other devices, throughout the community, and especially by their introduction to our Bibles, theological and historical works, and the exhibition of them on churches and public buildings.”
The Synod recommends that these resolutions be printed in the Magazine, and that they be also read from the pulpits of all the congregations in the body. The Synod appointed the following members—Mr Graham, Mr Stevenson, Mr Roger, and Mr Blakely--a Committee, Mr Roger to be Convener, on public questions. In regard to the arrangement of Presbyteries, it was agreed that Mr Hobart be appointed a corresponding member of the Presbytery of Edinburgh. Took up the overture from the congregation of Stranraer, respecting the authority exercised by the Synod in regard to competing calls. The overture was read by the Clerk. The Synod, considering that there is an existing Committee preparing a code of Church laws embracing this and all other matters pertaining to the settlement of ministers, agreed to postpone giving judgment on the overture until that Committee gave in its report. A petition from the congregation of Coupar-Angus regarding the dispensation of the Lord's Supper was read and granted. Proceeded to take up the following motion in regard to arrangements between aged and infirm ministers and their congregations :-" That in the case of infirmity through age or affliction on the part of any minister, the Presbytery of the bounds shall see to it that interim supply shall be given and procured between the occurrence of such case and the ensuing meeting of Synod, where the whole case shall be referred simpliciter, by the minister and congregation conjointly, or by the Presbytery to the Synod, which shall travail in the whole case, and make all arrangements both regarding the pecuniary and spiritual interests of all parties; and that no minister and congregation shall be at liberty to enter into any private pecuniary engagement with the prospect of settling an assistant, without the consent and concurrence of the Synod. And further, that the Synod shall take immediate steps in order to arrange such a plan as may seem most eligible, to raise an appropriate fund, with a view to aid congregations in giving adequate support to retiring ministers." It was, after discussion, agreed to refer the subject of this motion, so far as it respects Church order
, to the Committee appointed to prepare a code of Ecclesiastical Rules, and that in the meantime a Committee be appointed to take charge of any donations presented for the support of aged and infirm ministers, the Committee to consist of the same members as those appointed to take charge of the fund for assisting students. Mr Manson and Mr Roger were appointed a Committee to take charge of the supplies during the current year, with instructions to report to next meeting of Synod whether the appointments they have given have been fulfilled. It was moved that the Testimonies belonging to the Synod be given in charge to Mr John Stevenson, Synod Treasurer, and that the Clerk be instructed to write Mr M.M. Stewart, requesting him to state what number he has sold or given to congregations, and how many are on hand. Appointed next meeting of Synod to be held at Glasgow, on the Tuesday after the fourth Sabbath of October next, at twelve o'clock noon; and after prayer and praise, the Synod was concluded by the Moderator pronouncing the Apostolic benediction.
STATE OF ACCOUNTS.
L.20 0 0
1853. April 21. To Balance of former
Account, 1856. April 21. Interest,..
L.163 18 10
4 3 5
148 2 3
L. 168 2 3
L.169 2 8
SUMS RECEIVED SINCE ACCOUNTS WERE CLOSED.
FOR SYNOD FOXD.
FOR MUTUAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME.
L.8 8 6
2 0 0
L.9 120 1 0 0
£170 9 4
8 7 0
1856. April 21. By Expenses of Ministers in supplying Vacant Congregations,
» Salary to Professor Murray,
do. Synod Clerk, Allowance to Coupar-Angus Congregation,..
Do. in November,
1855. April 21. To Balance of last Account,
Received after Accounts were closed » Collection from Stranraer,
2 0 0
£21 14 1
£76 1 11
£234 13 9
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME.
Surplus divided among the Ministers whose Congregations contribute
to this Fund,
Balance due by Treasurer,
Received after accounts were closed-
Do. by W. Buyers, Esq., Sydney,
do. per Mr Roger, Aberdeen, Do. by Miss Rymer, Edinburgh, Interest on Bank Account,
4 0 0
4 0 0
153 16 0
5 0 0
S. L. 20
26 20 17 7
£20 0 0 20 0 0 30 0 0 27 00 7 0 0 17 0 0
£201 0 0
14 7 2
£215 7 2
CarluKE CONGREGATION OF UNITED Original SECEDERS. PRESENTATION.-On Wednesday evening, the 16th current, at a meeting of the Original Secession Congregation, Carluke, James L. Stewart, Esq., in name of the congregation, presented their senior pastor, the Rev. James Anderson, with a purse containing forty Sovereigns, as a token of their esteem. The present is now the thirty-seventh year of Mr Anderson's ministry in Carluke. His fidelity to the duties of his office during that period, more impressive from an obvious sincerity of purpose, has procured for him, in a more than ordinary degree, the respect and attachment of his congregation-feelings of which the tribute now paid him is the spontaneous expression.
Carluke, January 8th, 1856. Which day and place the Presbytery of U. O. Seceders met, for the Ordination of Mr Thomas Hobart, preacher, as assistant and successor to the Rev. ). Anderson. Rev. John Ritchie of Shottsburn preached an appropriate discourse from 1 Pet. v. 4. Rev. M. Murray, Glasgow, pat the questions in the Formula, and oftered up the ordination prayer; after which, Rey. John Blakely, Kirkintilloch, delivered the usual addresses to the minister and people.
MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE. TURKEY.—As the result of the late war, which is most cheering to the minds of Christians, and is itself truly great, is the religious liberty which is now proclaimed throughout the wide Turkish Empire ; we think we cannot do better than fill up the small space left us with extracts from the address of English and American Missionaries to the British Ambassador at Constantinople, to which he is reported to have made a noble reply, declaring, with deep emotion, that he had done nothing, and God everything. The parts of the address are given as furnished by the Correspondent of the Christian Times :
“To the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Britannic
Majesty at the Sublime Porte. "My LORD, -The undersigned Protestant Missionaries, belonging to various Christian churches and societies of Great Britain and America, consider it their duty at the present important and auspicious period of this empire, signalised by the publication of the hatti-sherif of the reigning Sultan, to give utterance to their feelings of gratitude to God, the giver of every good gift, -to express to your lordship their entire satisfaction with the extent and the spirit of that document relative to religious freedom and the rights of conscience, and to congratulate you on the honour providentially and deservedly conferred upon your lordship, of having become instrumental in accomplishing so great and so good a work for the millions of Turkey. While we would gratefully recognise the valuable services rendered by the representatives of several other countries, to forward this praise worthy end, we cannot but realize that the accomplishment of this work is pre-eminently due, under God, to the influence of the representative of Great Britain.
"Your lordship will allow us to say that we consider the hatti-sherif entirely satisfactory, not only in its social enactments, but also relative to freedom of conscience. To give that bolder utterance to this great principle which some seem to have expected, would in our opinion have been imprudent, and would have retarded the cause of truth instead of advancing it. It would have imperilled the organization and reformation of Turkey. As it is, the prospects of this country appear to us bright. The imperial document will only need a consistent and discreet application when called for, and the world will soon perceive the importance of the imperial act, We would gratefully acknowledge the kindness of the sovereign of this country, and the wise and liberal moderation of his government. We see no reason to entertain any doubt of their sincerity and loyalty in the promulgation of the imperial edict, or of their intention to give it effect throughout the land.
“ But, though we consider the problem which is now to be solved a very delicate one, we would look with cheerfulness to the future, trusting in God, who has already done so much for Turkey, and who will, doubtless, carry forward to completeness the great work of its regeneration.
" And may the God of all grace accept and bless the labour of your hands, and prepare you for rest in a better world, when the contests and trials of this present life shall be over!"