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most heartily rejoice,-it could be taken up by the Commission which would meet in August. Agreed to.
COMMITTEE FOR PLANTATION OF CHURCHES. Dr CandLish intimated that he had returned from a conference with Dr Chal. mers, the excellent convener of the Sustentation Committee, and as the arrangements for the duties to be imposed on this committee were not yet complete, he begged to be allowed to postpone the report of the committee on the plantation of churches till Monday. He need not remind the Assembly that the appointment of a committee on the plantation of churches was an unusual procedure for the Church; but last year it was absolutely necessary. It would now, however, be dispensed with. When the committee was appointed last year, their object was to supply, as far as possible, all those who adhered to the Free Church, with the means of grace ; but it was found almost impossible to draw the line between existing churches and church extension, for 200 more congregations came out from the Established Church than ministers. After the labour of the past year, however, they would now go back to the old rule and practice of the Church, which, in the sanctioning of new charges, required that the Presbytery of the bounds should make every neces. sary inquiry, and then bring up the case, when ripe, for the decision of the Assembly. There was only one relaxation which might be made to this rule. This was in the case of charges already in progress, the completion of wbich it might be injurious to delay, and in two or three of these which might occur, the Commission might be authorized to give its sanction if it should see cause. With this relaxation they would fall back upon the old rule. The distribution of probationers in the outfield part of the territory might be left under the charge of the Home Mission Committee, and the Sustentation Committee, who would do all in their power in making the probationers available in assisting weak congregations, and bringing forward young men for the ministry. The particular regulations, however, for the manage. ment of the business of these committees, would be submitted on Monday.
Dr Candlish, in reference to this subject, said, — When I introduced it to the Assembly in the beginning of last week, I went into a mistake, which, however, does not affect the practicability of the proposal ; indeed I find that it is even more practicable than I at first supposed. I find that what I said at that discussion has been misrepresented, and that some strange remarks bave been made, in consequence, in reference to the scheme. It has been said that I spoke of our publishing a volume of the same thickness as Dr Buchanan's work on the Holy Spirit ; but I only referred to Dr Buchanan's work as the kind of standard volume which we ougbe to follow. I have got calculations on this subject, and, of course, they are not my calculations, but those of an experienced person. If we procure 1250 subscribers at 4s. each, this will enable us to issue two volumes, and leave a surplus of L.79, or, deducting ten per cent. for management, L.54, 4s. By increasing the number of subscribers, we in the same proportion necessarily increase the number of copies to be issued, as well as the surplus; but it will at once be seen, that it is a mistake to suppose that the number of volumes to be issued will be increased in the same ratio as the number of subscribers. If we have 2000 subscribers, this would enable us to issue two volumes, and leave a surplus of L. 148 ; or, deducting 10 per cent. for management, L.108. Coming up to 5000 subscribers, and issuing three vol. umes, the surplus would be L. 150; or, deducting 10 per cent. L.135. But we may calculate on a large increase of subscribers ; and suppose we come to 30,000, it is still probable that we might be prepared to issue no more than three volumes ; but there would be a surplus of L.1315; or, deducting 10 per cent. for management, L.715. If we were to take the plan of stereotyping, possibly we might issue an additional volume, making in all four volumes; and a work like this, of the best old Scottish theological literature, would be indeed a prize to many of our country people, and town's people too, purchased at a cheap rate. Then the surplus would enable us to get the works properly edited, and also to get them properly circulated through the country. It would, besides, enable us to assist in the other departments of this committee's labours,-the propagation of tracts and treatises on the important subjects of the day. I still think that the idea I took the liberty to throw out on this subject is a practicable one, and I should be sorry indeed'if it were to excite the jealousy of any of our publishers who deal in religious works. I think it exceedingly short-sighted to raise any such alarm, for the books which we would publish would be such as they are not in the babit of publishing, --it would rather be a resurrection of the old literature, than the publication of any new literature; and it must be foolish in them not to see, that if we call forth a taste for the kind of reading which we would give to the people, the demand that would thus be created for this description of literature, would assuredly be more in their favour than would cover any loss they might sustain. Let us suppose that our people got these volumes which we publish, and is not this just the way to create a demand for more reading of the same kind? I think that it is a poor and pitiful jealousy for any publisher to feel on this score. But I have further to say, that the increase of the surplus, as the number of subscribers increase, even though it does not enable us to issue more volumes than two, must still be the means of ef. fecting great good. I have been conversing with Dr Buchanan of the High Cburch, on this subject, and he states that an idea had occurred to him in reference to the circulation of cheap theological literature. His view is, that we must proceed in this matter on the aggressive system; that instead of having our emporiums of books where people with a habit of reading come and get them, we should, as in the case of Church extension, go through the people, and press these works on those who are either reading nothing, or reading publications worse than useless; and his idea was, that there might be grafted on this plan some scheme for the employment of respectable men, and women too, to act as a sort of colporteurs in diffusing these publications among the people, and that in this way we might largely influence and leaven the public mind with pure and scriptural views of divine truth. (Cheers.)
OVERTURE ON THE ASSEMBLY'S COMMITTEES, This as an overture from the Presbytery of Selkirk, wishing the Assembly to guard against its business committees in Edinburgh assuming too much power, and to enjoin them to restrict their duties to the outward business of the Church. It was supported by Mr Sorley, one of the members of the above Presbytery.
Dr Candlish could assure Mr Sorley and the Presbytery of Selkirk that there was no fear of their committees becoming dark or secret societies-(laughter)—for the promulgation of acts for which they would not become responsible.
Mr Gray of Perth wished to know how they were to get rid of the overture.
Mr SORLEY said that, to save farther trouble and discussion, he would consent to withdraw the document. (Applause.)
DISTRIBUTION OF PREACHERS.
An overture from the Presbytery of Stirling to adopt measures for a more equal distribution of preachers throughout the Church, was, on the motion of Dr Candlish, remitted to the committee on Home Missions.
MARINERS' CHURCH. The constitution of Mariners' Church, Dundee, was brought up and approved of. The Assembly then called for the overture on
UNIVERSITY TESTS. Mr Sheriff Speins rose to introduce to the notice of the Assembly several over. tures on religious tests in Universities. The subject, he remarked, was one of great importance, and deserved the serious consideration of the bouse. He need not go into the history of tests, as they were called, as applicable to professors in universities. It was perfectly well known that, in a great number of cases, they had not been in observance at all; and there was not a university in Scotland where they were not practically abolished. The revival of an attempt to enforce these tests in the present
day has not been directed against those parties who, one would have supposed, i there had been any great anxiety to enforce them in spirit and purity, would have been peculiarly obnoxious to the professors of the various universities.
These tests had not been enforced against the very parties in reference to whom they were originally appointed; but they were revived with a view to deprive of their situations, as professors of universities, those who are members of the Free Church, and who have conscientiously put upon these tests the interpretation which they have all along held. When they signed these tests and formulæ of adherence to the Church of Scotland, they put the same construction upon them as they now put upon the standards of our Church to which they adhere; and, therefore, according to their interpretation of these formulæ, they are still adhering in spirit and in letter to the tesis which they signed. A great clainour has recently been raised against these tests; and what the result might be be could not tell. An attempt had been made in parliament to get the question settled by the authority of parliament, but it had failed. It had failed, however, in such a way as to leave no doubt whatever that the overwhelming opinion of the country at large would ultimately put the matter right, and that our universities shall hereafter, in a short time, no longer suffer from the arbitrary revival of tests, which may exclude and shut up these universities from the instructions not only of the wisest, but the best of men. (Hear, hear.) In these extreme circumstances, he would take the liberty of saying, that he did not think the Assembly was prepared to do any thing in the matter just now. they could not anticipate what might occur betwixt this and the next Gineral Assembly, and what steps it might be necessary for them to take in their collective capacity, he would take the liberty of proposing that these overtures should be remitted to a committee, with special instructions to watcb over the interests of those members of the Free Church who happen to be professors in universities. (Hear, hear.)
Dr Candlish said — Perhaps the Assembly will consider it quite enough to remit the matter to the Commission, with instructions to watch over the matter, and especially the interests of such of our memhers as are professors in universities. I have only to say, that I am not sure that I can agree with Sheriff Speirs in his anii. cipation as to the probable issue of the discussions in Parliament on this subject ; nor do I entertain any great alarm that the result may be otherwise. I think that, just as in the case of the disruption, when we were driven from the Established Church, as from apparent evil good issued to the cause of religion, so out of this proceeding, even if it terminate as its originators wish, the utmost possible good to the cause of education will arise. Of course, it will only go to strengthen any university which this Church, in connection with other evangelical communions in Scotland, may set up; and the result, I believe, will be a large accession of benefit to the cause of education, both elementary and collegiate. And, therefore, whatever may be the effect of the movement in Parliament, where, as in the instance of the Factory Bill, although there was a small majority at first against Mr Maule's motion, the result may be very different when it is taken up as a party question, I don't anticipate evil from that result, -1 anticipate the greatest good. (Hear, hear.)
DEPUTATION TO UNITED ASSOCIATE SYNOD.
The Assembly having called for the report of the deputation to the United Associate Synod,
Dr Candlish said, I have to report that we waited on the Synod. The deputation consisted of Dr Smyth, Dr Henderson, Mr Collins, Mr Wright, and myself; and in the absence of Dr Welsh and other members of the deputation who were unavoidably detained, we obtained the consent of the Moderator (Dr Brown) to accompany us; and I have only to report, that while the Associate Synod very frankly and fully made allowance for the difference of opinion subsisting between them and us as to the subject of religious establishments —while this was frankly owned and acknowledged on both sides, and was in fact virtually brought out fully in all our statements,- yet notwithstanding, I have to report that we returned from our conference with that body deeply impressed with the kind.
ness and cordiality with which they received us, and rejoicing in the prospect of there being increased union and co-operation between them and us. It was stated on both sides that this did not imply any surrender of our principles as we mutually held them; and we stated, on the other hand, our belief that by cultivating this friendly intercourse with that body, we shall receive good from them, and possibly, in their present state particularly, they might receive not a little good from increased fellowship with this branch of the Presbyterian Church. I have nothing particular to report of our intercourse with the Synod, except the feeling of high satisfaction which we had in addressing them, and our deep sense of the friendly manner in which they welcomed our intercourse with them. I trust this is but the earnest of more en. larged intercourse with them, and with all the evangelical Churches throughout the world, thus drawing closer and closer the bonds of brotherly love amongst us ; so that if Popery has uniformity without real unity, Protestantism, on the other hand, may have that real unity which is preserved by the Spirit of the living God dwelling in all the branches of the Church which hold the Head, Christ Jesus. (Hear, hear.)
Dr HENDERSON said, that the feelings expressed by Dr Candlish were shared very deeply by all the members of the deputation. They were much gratified with the kind welcome, and the frank statement of principles by the Synod. The deputation were equally frank in the statement of theirs ; and he had reason to know, from private as well as public information, that the interview was equally gratifying to both parties. (Hear, hear.)
After the arrangement of routine business, the Assembly adjourned till eleven o'clock on Monday forenoon.
MONDAY, MAY 27. Assembly meet-Overture as to meeting of Assembly in Aberdeen superseded - Report on Applications
for admission from other Churches--Report and overture on office of Elders and Deacons-Report of Horne Mission Committee- Report of the Gaelic Committee-Report of Committee on Plantation of Churches Acts of Assembly by the Church Law Society, recommended to Presbyteries and Sessions-Report and interim Act as to Formula-Report of Committee on Trust-Deed approved of-Overture on state of Waldenses read, and speeches of Dr Candlish, Dr Wilson, and Rev. Mr Monod-Report of Building Committee on Manses-Report on College Education read by Dr Welsh--Report of Committee on state of Ross and Sutherland, and Speeches of Sheriff Speirs, Rev. Mr M Gillivray, Mr M.Tavish, and Mr Gray-Report by Mr Bridges on the Public Accounts of the Church-Report of the Representation of Theological Faculty in the Assembly agreed to Report on Synodical and Presbyterial arrangements-Sabbath Observance Overture read-Report on Standing Orders-Report of Committee ou Duties of Clerks of Assembly-Commission of assembly appointed. The Assembly met at eleven o'clock to-day, and was opened by the Moderator.
CORRESPONDENCE WITH OTHER CHURCHES. No report from this Committee; which was re-appointed.
OVERTURE FOR ASSEMBLY TO MEET IN ABERDEEN.
An overture praying the Assembly to hold an intermediate meeting in Aberdeen was read, when Dr Brown of Aberdeen rose to speak in support of the overture.
The bolding of the Assembly in Glasgow, he said, had given great satisfaction, and had excited a vital interest there ; and he could see no reason to apprehend that the same excellent effects might not follow from its meeting in Aberdeen. That place had been always looked on as a stronghold of Moderatism ; but he was happy to say that the Free Church bad there made considerable progress, and gained many adherents. Within the bounds of the Synod from 50 to 60 churches have been purchased, built, or are at present building; and there are from 60 to 70 congregations. Aberdeen, too, is unquestionably the most important city of the north; it is the seat of two universities; and consequently everything transacted there must excite important interest. From these considerations, and the fact that many individuals, not merely those from the north, were desirous that a meeting should be held in Aberdeen, be hoped the proposal would meet the serious consideration of the house.
A. DUNLOP, Esq. stated that the Church was now in such a state of order that there
was no need of any intermediate meeting ; but, should any emergency arise, then the
The motion was agreed to, and a proposal by Dr Henderson of Aberdeen and Mr
APPLICATIONS FOR ADMISSION FROM OTHER CHURCHES;
“1. The Committee are of opinion that, in considering the question of the propriety of recognizing the ministers of any other Presbyterian denominations, as ad. missible to hold fixed ministerial charges in the communion of this Church, one of the principal points to be ascertained is the sufficiency of the course of education for the University, ordinarily required in these denominations, as well as in the Standards held and subscribed by the ministers of said Church. Without meaning to cast a doubt on the educational arrangements of any sister Church, but rather presuming that these will be found fully satisfactory, the Churches proposing not merely to con. sider individual applications, but generally to recognise their ministers as mutually eligible to ministerial charges witbin each other's bounds, should have the fullest communication with one another on this vitally important subject.
“2. Any ininister of another denomination admitted to a charge in this Church must be bound to subscribe the formula, and adhere to the testimony of this Church without qualification.
" 3. It seems to the Committee that a distinction is to be made between the ordained ministers and the probationers of any sister Church with whom this Church may be in alliance. It is the ordained minisiers alone who are to be regarded as having received the full stamp and seal of the Church which bas ordained them. The class of preachers are men still in their probation merely, liable to farther trial and examination, and not yet finally sanctioned by the Church as qualified for the office of the ministry.
" 4. Keeping this distinction in view, the Committee suggest, in the case of those sister Churches with which this Church has come to an understanding on the point first referred to in this report, that their ministers generally should be considered not only entitled to officiate in the pulpits of this Church, but eligible also to ministerial charges on the call of the congregations ; provided such ministers are prepared to sign this Church's formula and testimony; and provided also that they produce to the Presbyteries of this Church, before which they may bave to appear, the usual Presbyterial testimonials from the Presbyteries of their own Church to which they belong.
“5. In regard to preachers licensed by any Presbytery of such sister Church, the Committee would suggest, that before they are employed in giving supply within the bounds of any Presbytery of this Church, they should, in terms of the law of this Church, applicable to her own probationers, appear before the said Presbytery, to present their extract of license and Presbyterial certificate, and submit to such examination as the said Presbytery may deem it right to require ; and thereafter, such preachers being received and licensed as probationers within the bounds of the said Presbytery, will be placed on the same footing with the other licentiates of this Church."
Dr C. then proposed the following as the deliverance of the Assembly.
“ The General Assembly, upon the Report of a Committee of the Special Commission, agreed to transmit the following overture to the several Presbyteries of this Church for their opinion, and enact it into an interm act of the Assembly :
"• 'That no minister of any other denomination shall be admitted to a ministerial