MINUTES OF THE REFORMED PRESBYTERY.
BRUSH CREEK MEETING HOUSE, May 31, 1858.
THE Presbytery met according to adjournment and was constituted by prayer. The members present were Rev. J.J. Peoples and Rev. D. Steele, with S. W. Cowser, ruling elder. There was no elder from Miami, owing to the great rain. The same providential hindrance occasioned the absence of J.F. Fulton, theological student.
Rev. J.J. Peoples was continued in the Moderator's chair, and Mr. James Williams requested to act as clerk.
Rev. D. Steele reported that he had organized a congregation in Randolph county, Illinois, as directed by Presbytery at last meeting, with the assistance of Mr. J. Williams, elder. This report was accepted and approved.
The days of fasting and thanksgiving had been observed.
The Moderator stated that Mr. J.F. Fulton, student of divinity, had prepared the pieces assigned him by Presbytery, and intended being present, but was providentially hindered as above stated.
A call upon Rev. D. Steele from Hill Prairie, Illinois, was laid on the table. It was sustained as a regular gospel call.
Adjourned by prayer, to meet same place to-morrow.
SAME PLACE, June 1, 10 o’clock, A.M.
Court met and opened with prayer. Same members as before. On the signs of the times, the following were drafted as
CAUSES OF FASTING.
1. Among ourselves there is a sinful negligence or remissness in frequenting fellowship meetings, to provoke unto love and to good works. Our worldly-mindedness betrays our frequent forgetfulness of our solemn renunciation of the world, as well as the devil and the flesh. We are too much disposed to look every one on his own things, not on the things of others.
2. Unfaithfulness is often manifested in the official conduct of ministers. The seals of the covenant are very frequently administered to such as make no conscience of either family worship or personal religion.
3. The Church still sustains the accursed traffic in slavery. Thus ungodly statesmen and politicians are emboldened to labor for the extension of the area of bondage. That the Church in general in this land is the bulwark of this great national sin and crime, is evinced by the resolutions of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which refers for proof to the policy of the American Tract Society—a confederacy which asks patronage from all Churches.
4. The late great awakening, full of promise to the Christian’s hope, has effected no visible reformation in the corrupt constitutions, and more corrupt administrations, of either Church or State.
5. The organic unions among Churches at the present time, are not different in character or objects from those of the last two hundred years; they are founded on a compromise of divine truth—truth sealed by the blood of martyrs. We believe with our fathers for two centuries, that "a union without truth, is a conspiracy against the truth." Can two walk together except they be agreed?
6. The national administration, sustained by the judiciary, perseveringly aims to extend slavery over free territory.
7. There are few to witness for all divine truth—to come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty. We have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. Is. 26:18.
8. These and other sins have brought judgment—financial derangement, depressed trade, inundations, tornadoes, &c.
CAUSES OF THANKSGIVING.
1. That our presbyterial organization has been continued, by the spared lives of the ministerial members, with the comfortable hope of increase.
2. That while other communities are agitated by factions, and constrained to sacrifice principle for the preserving or the obtaining of union, we have enjoyed peace consistently with truth.
3. That throughout the land, there has been general health, peace and plenty.
4. That among the masses of the people, there seems to be a growing dislike to slavery, as well as to the attempts in the high places of the nation to authorize and perpetuate its extension and permanency.
The 3d Thursday of November was appointed as a day of thanksgiving; and the 2d Thursday of February, 1859, a day fasting.
The call upon Rev. D. Steele from the congregation of Hill Prairie, Randolph county, Illinois, was presented and accepted conditionally.
Mr. Fulton, student, was enjoined to have in readiness the pieces assigned, to be delivered at next meeting of Presbytery.
Adjourned to meet in the bounds of the Miami congregation, on the last Monday of August next. Closed with prayer.
J.J. PEOPLES, Moderator.
JAS. WILLIAMS, Clerk pro tern.