MINUTES OF THE REFORMED PRESBYTERY.
Philadelphia, 12th and Filbert Sts., May 31, 1876,
2 o’clock, P. M.
The Reformed Presbytery met according to adjournment, and was opened with prayer by the Moderator. The members present were, John M’Auley and David Steele, ministers; with Messrs James Campbell, James Anderson, and Robert Clyde, ruling elders. Absent, Rev. J. F. Fulton. Elder Robert Alexander was invited to sit as a consultative member. He accepted the offered courtesy. The Moderator and Clerk were continued. Minutes of last meeting were read and approved. The days of public fasting and thanksgiving appointed by Presbytery, had been observed by all the congregations.
The committee appointed last year to invite our former brethren to a renunciation of their Pittsburgh Covenant &c., reported. The report was approved, as also the committee’s diligence in the matter. The document is as follows:—
A CALL TO REPENTANCE.
The undersigned were appointed a committee by the Reformed Presbytery, at a meeting in Philadelphia, June 4th, 1875,—“to invite our former brethren of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod of North America to a renunciation of the Covenant adopted at Pittsburgh, 1871; together with all other steps of defection; and to return to duty, occupying the same position assumed by the church when first organized in this land. We, therefore, do hereby earnestly invite the Synod, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and head of the church:
First. To renounce the above named covenant: (1.) Because it is a new covenant, entirely distinct from, and a substitute for the Covenants, National and Solemn League. (2.) Because it is not a renovation of the above named Covenants; although this was what the people of the Synod were generally expecting, yet it possesses neither internal nor external evidences of being such. (3.) Because the Synod herself did not, and could not, in truth, call it a renovation; for when earnestly requested to do so, she refused even to name the Covenants, in the language by which they are known in her own terms of communion and ordination vows. (4.) This omission was no mistake or oversight on the part of the Synod, for it was done by a deliberate vote. (5.) It would be perfectly absurd to call the swearing and subscribing of the Bond a renovation of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; because in swearing and subscribing the former, the latter were neither read, sworn, nor subscribed. Who ever heard of an oath being sworn in open court, either civil or ecclesiastical, without the oath being read or repeated in the hearing of the jurant? (6.) It is manifest that the Synod did not intend the Bond as a deed of covenant-renovation; because, in it she does not acknowledge the renovation of the National Covenant of Scotland in 1638, the renovation of the Solemn League and Covenant of the three kingdoms by the church and nation of Scotland in 1648, nor the renovation of the Covenants, National and Solemn League at Auchensaugh, in 1712—as scriptural and faithful. Then, it is manifest, that in swearing the bond, she is not “going forth by the footsteps of the flock, but turning aside by the flocks of his companions.” In all this, the Synod has forsaken a covenanted work of reformation; but especially when she, in the Bond, ignores National Religion, and National Covenanting. (7.) Again, the Synod did not intend to renew the Covenants; because she made no attempts to adapt them to her present circumstances—she made no attempts to point out those parts of the Covenants that bind to duties peculiar to the church in the British Isles, and that are not applicable in all lands—she made no attempt “to divest these Covenants of anything peculiar to the British Isles, and that are not binding upon the Reformed church in every land.”
Second. We ask the Synod to renounce “Reformation Principles Exhibited,” because when she adopted this so-called testimony, she laid aside the Ploughlandhead Testimony, and substituted an unfaithful for a faithful testimony, and at the same time laid aside a witnessing profession; for “Reformation Principles Exhibited” is no proper testimony. It lacks two of the essential elements of a testimony—narrative and argument. The Synod receives neither of these as “articles of faith;” and at the same time declares, that the declarative part is the church’s “standing testimony.” And it is certain, that without history and argument, we can neither point out any particular heresies, nor bear testimony against those who maintain them. Then when Synod says, “The declaratory part is the church’s standing testimony, and that the historical and argumentative parts are not articles of faith;” she is virtually saying—we do not intend to bear testimony against any particular person or society. No, we intend to testify against sin—not against sinners; we intend to testify against heresy—not against the promoters and defenders of heresy, nor the assailants of truth; we intend to condemn disorder—not the disorderly; we will condemn error in the abstract—not in the concrete; if we cannot speak well of persons and societies, we will not speak of them at all. It is manifest from the action of the Presbytery, September 20th, 1804, that it intended to emit a testimony in the abstract form so as to condemn error—not to testify against the errorist. They say, “Resolved, 1. That an act, declaration, and testimony for all the truths contended for by the churches of the Reformation, and all the prevalent and contrary errors, be exhibited in a plain abstract form, without entering into a full investigation of the various denominations around us. 2. That this shall be our own bond of union, and acquiescence in it our term of communion.” And Dr. [Thomas] Sproull tells us, that “The terms ‘act, declaration, and testimony,’ were intended to designate merely that part of the proposed work that should exhibit and prove the doctrines witnessed for, and condemn the opposing errors.” (See R. P. and Cov. for 1876, p. 79.) Again the Doctor says, p. 82, “Nor were they silent or ambiguous in regard to a testimony against other churches. In the end of the narrative we find the following, which we learn from the minutes, was at first the close of the declaratory part, but was transferred to what was deemed its appropriate place (in the narrative). They cheerfully appreciate the talents and piety of their acquaintances, and as opportunity may offer, commune with them, as friends and christians (“with pious men of every name”); but they cannot extend the right hand of fellowship in the visible church upon any other principles, than these contained in the Declaration and Testimony; nor can they consistently join either statedly or occasionally in the communion of any other church, by waiting on its ministry, either in word or sacraments, while they continue to oppose these declared sentiments.” Now, if what the Doctor says be true, that “the Presbytery were not silent or ambiguous in regard to a testimony against other churches,” why was the so-called testimony against other churches transferred from the declaratory part, to what was deemed its appropriate place (in the narrative)? Was it because in the declarative part it might be a so-called testimony against other churches, but in the end of the narrative it could not be a testimony? Dr. Sproull and the Presbytery both knew that the above transfer was made, that the paragraph under consideration might be no testimony against any church or person. If the Dr. wishes us to believe that the Presbytery were not silent or ambiguous with regard to a testimony against other churches, he ought never to have published the above extracts from the minutes or the narrative. Again let it be remarked, that while the above paragraph was appended to the declaratory part of the so-called testimony, they had the name of a testimony against occasional communion and occasional hearing; but after the above transfer they have no testimony on these two subjects; the transfer was equivalent to the repeal of the law on these two subjects; than which none was more necessary to preserve purity and peace in the church. While it was appended to the declaratory part it was law, but not testimony; but after it was transferred to the narrative, it was neither law nor testimony. The Dr. tells us “the part designated act, declaration, and testimony,” (or the declaratory part), alone, has the authority of official sanction; then it is manifest that the above transfer was made so, that the Presbytery might have no testimony against either occasional communion or occasional hearing. In the historical part it could be “no article of faith.” (See Preface to Reformation Principles Exhibited, p. 7.) Thus two of the leading steps of defection were covenant-breaking, and substituting a so-called, for a faithful testimony.
Third. Opening correspondences with corrupt churches. A third step in defection was made in 1823, when a motion was made to open correspondence with the judicatories of other churches. But though this motion did not then carry, the fact that its mover and defenders were not censured, ultimately gave them a triumph—it encouraged them to make and defend similar motions, until the Synod finally bound herself by covenant to “maintain Christian friendship with pious men of every name,” or with all such as in the Solemn League and Covenant are denominated “incendiaries, malignants, and evil instruments;” for all the sects are such. In opposing a covenanted work, they oppose all true reformation; and Synod has finally mingled with them and learned their works—has learned to oppose a covenanted work of reformation, and to set aside the covenants themselves; though the Covenants bind the Synod to “endeavour the discovery of all such as have been or shall be incendiaries, malignants, or evil instruments… that they be brought to public trial and receive condign punishment.” Those sects with which the Synod binds herself to “maintain Christian friendship, and to feel and act as one with them,” are just such as, according to the word of God and reformation principles, have forfeited all ecclesiastical and civil rights, until they repent and reform—are such as have forfeited all right to dispense or receive divine ordinances in the Church of God, or to enjoy any kind of privileges in God’s ordinance of civil government. And the Synod, in covenanting to “feel and act as one with them,” brings herself under the same penalties and disabilities; has forfeited all privileges in a scriptural church or in a scriptural civil government, until she renounces the New Covenant [the R.P. Covenant of 1871] and all her other defections.
Fourth. Uniting with Voluntary Associations. A fourth step of defection is associating with voluntary societies, which are destitute of any divine warrant, and in which the worship of God is corrupted by the use of “gospel songs” of human device and musical instruments. And in these voluntary societies, the Synod, through her members, is having fellowship with all corrupt denominations, and with an ungodly world; with the pretence of making a so-called reformation; instead of rebuking “the unfruitful works of darkness,” such as Temperance Societies, Colonization, Abolition, and National Reform Associations. To associate with these, is to have fellowship with unrighteousness, communion with darkness, concord with Belial, part with infidels, and agreement with idols; and such cannot at the same time have fellowship with righteousness, communion with light, concord with Christ, part with believers, or agreement with the temple of God. Then, while the Synod has fellowship with those that are unsound in the faith, and whom she is bound to exclude from her fellowship, how can she have fellowship with these and an ungodly world, and at the same time, have fellowship with Christ and his faithful followers? And Sabbath Schools, Missionary and Bible Societies, Union Prayer Meetings, and Union Conventions, Evangelical and Presbyterian Alliances, and Young Men’s Christian Associations, may all be included under the head of Voluntary Associations. And all these being more or less countenanced by the Synod, her ministers, and people, are just so many departures from the principles and practices of the true Covenanting church.
Fifth. Corruptions in the worship of God. The Synod has corrupted the worship and ordinances of His house, in tolerating and practicing continuous singing and repeating tunes; and in uniting in voluntary associations where hymns of human composition and musical instruments are used, or uniting with those who thus habitually corrupt the worship of God.
Sixth. Corruption in Church-Government. The Synod has departed from the order of Christ’s house, in substituting the Trustee for the Deacon; in substituting offices of human for offices of divine appointment; and in making herself and her Board of Trustees (the latter being constituted a body politic and corporate), both subordinate to the Constitution and Laws of the United States, and to those of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; for she has bound herself not to give any instruction to her incorporated trustees “that shall be repugnant to the Constitution and laws of these irreligious, Erastian, and uncovenanted Legislatures.” (See Act of Incorporation, Sec. 6 and 9.)
Finally. Preparing the Army Oath. This is another step in defection. The Synod in 1863, framed an army oath for such of her people as might see fit to go to the war, thus encouraging them to go, by preparing what she called a faithful oath—a faithful oath for Covenanters to swear to an unfaithful Government!—to a Government against which she and her people are bound to keep up a standing dissent!! In this she teaches her young soldiers to say, “I do swear by the Living God, that I will be faithful to the United States, and will aid and defend them against the armies of the Confederate States, yielding all due obedience to military orders.” She doubtless means, that her young Covenanters should be faithful to the government of the United States—then, why did she not say so? Again, she teaches her young men to swear to aid and defend the government of the United States, against the armies of the Confederate States. That is, she teaches her people to swear to aid and defend a Government that is hostile to Christ, his Covenant, Crown, and Kingdom; and she, moreover, shows a disposition to help the ungodly, and to love them that hate the Lord;—“therefore is wrath upon thee from the Lord.” And she prepares an oath for her young men to swear to do so. Is this “going forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feeding her kids beside the Shepherds’ tents?” And she teaches her young men to swear to yield all due obedience to military orders—to the military orders of the ungodly armies of an ungodly Government—the ungodly military rulers being the judges of what is “all due obedience to military orders.” When the Synod framed this oath, she had forgotten that the Covenanters of the Second Reformation and their successors, are bound to see “that all such as shall be chosen to be Judges, Officers of State, Officers of the Army, Magistrates, Councilors, &c.; shall not only be able men, but also shall be men of known affection unto, and approved integrity and fidelity in the cause of God, and of a blameless and Christian conversation.” How cruel, then, to her own people, was Synod in framing this oath! How unfaithful to them, to Christ, and his cause! by thus encouraging the “Precious Sons of Zion—comparable to fine gold,” to join themselves to the ungodly armies of an ungodly government; and to swear to be faithful to them, to aid and defend them with their life’s blood, and to yield all due obedience to the orders of the armies of the aliens, known to be hostile to Christ and his Kingdom.
And now in conclusion, we earnestly invite you, the Synod, as you regard the glory of God, the peace, unity, and prosperity of Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom; as you regard your own peace of conscience and spiritual edification; as you desire at the great day of God Almighty to escape the wrath and curse of the Judge of angels and men; that you would, in the fear of God, confess, forsake, and renounce all the above named steps of defection; that you would “take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, take away all iniquity and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.” Hosea 14:2. And that you would again unite with all the true friends of Christ’s Crown and Covenant, in “joining yourselves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant not to be forgotten”—in renewing the National Covenant of Scotland, and the Solemn League and Covenant of Scotland, England, and Ireland, agreeably to the faithful example set us by our fathers at Auchensaugh. Thus alone you can escape from the curses, the dreadful curses pronounced against covenant-breakers in the word. “Hear ye the words of this Covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and say thou unto them, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this Covenant. . . . Therefore will I bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not.” Jer. 11:2-8. “And the Lord shall separate him (the covenant-breaker) unto evil, out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law. . . . Even all the nations shall say, wherefore hath the Lord done this unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.” Deut. 29:21-27. Neither you nor your children can ever have the shadow of a hope of escaping the curses of the covenant, without repentance and reformation. And now, dear, but erring brethren, we pray, that for the Lord’s sake, for your own sake, and for the sake of your children, and for the sake of the whole household of faith, that you may be “moved by the word and Spirit of God, to give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him.” And that in taking hold of his covenant again, you may “rejoice at the oath, and swear with all your heart, and seek him with your whole desire; and that he may be found of you and give you rest.” 2 Chron. 15:12-16. And it is our earnest prayer that the “very God of peace would sanctify you wholly; and we pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess. 5:23.
Mr. Robert Clyde, Jr., was taken under the care of Presbytery as a student of Theology; and in the mean time, directed to be in readiness to deliver before the court a specimen of progress, on next Monday evening at 7½ o’clock.
The committee on covenanting was continued, and D. Steele added to said committee. On motion, all amendments proposed on the Supplements to the Testimony in Overture, were referred to a committee consisting of M’Auley, Campbell, Clyde, and Anderson.
Petitions were presented from North Union and Rochester for supplies; and M’Auley was directed to dispense ordinances in both congregations at their mutual convenience, till next meeting of Presbytery. Steele, Anderson, and Clyde, were appointed on the Signs of the Times.
The following paper was unanimously adopted against opening the International Exposition on the Sabbath, and ordered to be printed forthwith.
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; therefore, the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” These are the true sayings of God, of Him to whom the Father gave authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man, and not because He is the son of God; for in absolute character, He is not the object of such grant or donation. Immediately after man’s creation, while yet in a state of innocence, his beneficent Creator gave him the Sabbath—a symbol, pledge, and earnest of the rest of heaven. If man needed a Sabbath in Paradise before he sinned, as is obviously implied in its very institution, much more does he need it since the fall! Since the world began, the Sabbath has been, before and since the fall, a sign between God and his people; not peculiar to the Jews, as some vainly imagine, but “made for man.” In all ages, in all lands where there has been no Sabbath, there has been no true religion. The history of our race demonstrates this lamentable truth, whether within or beyond the bounds of Christendom.
Assuming the truth of the principles and facts just stated, we must lament the prevalence of impiety in this respect among all classes, and especially professed followers of Him who is Lord of the Sabbath. The Presbytery heartily approve the action of the Commission in closing the international exposition on the Lord’s day, and cordially yield all moral support to that righteous regulation within the compass of their power; and, to free themselves from any complicity in the flagrant violation of the fourth commandment, which is urged upon the Commission by various public meetings, and combinations of influential and ungodly men, they adopt the following resolutions:—
First. That to open the exhibition on the Sabbath, would be to resist the ordinance of God, and to offer insult to the Majesty of Heaven.
Second. That we solemnly protest against any co-operation in such unholy enterprise, especially by any who thus desecrate the office of the Christian ministry.
Third. That we view the argument for the opening of the exhibition on the Lord’s holy day (as if conducive to religion and morality), to be like that of the serpent to Eve, and denounce it as a wicked and transparent sophism.
Fourth. That while we rejoice in the declaration of sentiment by the judicatories of surrounding communities, in favour of “keeping the Sabbath from polluting it” by opening the exhibition, we deeply deplore the fact, that their arguments are so largely predicated upon the assumption of “National Christianity,” and so slenderly upon the immutability of the moral law; thereby greatly weakening their own influence. The wisdom of the serpent soon manifests itself in his seed, who quickly discern concessions and detect sophisms. We believe that, as during the reign of slavery, its opposers reasoned more forcibly from the Bible than from the national constitution; so it is now, in opposing the profanation of the Sabbath. Sabbath-breaking is a national sin, as slavery once was, a sin publicly and habitually committed, both by those who administer and those who actively support the administrators of the federal, state, and municipal governments. On the assumption that this is a Christian nation, how great, how aggravated the sin of Sabbath profanation by Papists and Protestants, who thus violate the moral law of God, and their own organic and statute law.
Finally. That we be not justly chargeable with partaking of other men’s sins, nor our position be fairly liable to misconstruction amid the exciting scenes of the international and centenary celebration; and that we may obey the voice of the Chief Shepherd, “going forth by the footsteps of the flock;” we do hereby, before the representatives of almost all nations of the earth—christian, civilized, or barbarous—openly dissent from, and solemnly protest against, the sin of opening the aforesaid exposition on the Lord’s day; and also against all the false assumptions and delusive arguments against that great sin, predicated on the supposed Christian character of the nation, as calculated—we do not say intended—to operate as a palliative, if not as an opiate upon every tender Christian conscience.
Elder Campbell and Clyde had the charge of that matter; and at the next sederunt of the court, distributed copies of the document published in the Daily Philadelphia Inquirer, of the issue June 2d, 1876.
Steele, Alexander, Campbell, and Clyde were appointed to superintend the publication of the Testimony, should the Supplements be ratified at the present meeting of Presbytery.
Adjourned with prayer, to meet same place, June 2d, 2 o’clock P.M.
Same place, June 2d, 2 o’clock P.M.
Presbytery met and opened with prayer. All the members present. Minutes read, amended, and approved. The committee to whom were referred proposed amendments to the Overture, reported in part. On motion, the Overture and committee’s report were taken up for consideration. After lengthy examination and discussion—every member being allowed full liberty of speech—a member engaged in prayer, and the whole document, as amended, was ratified with perfect unanimity. Court then adjourned with prayer, to meet in the same place on the fifth inst., at 6 o’clock, P.M.
Same place, June 5th, 6 o’clock, P.M.
Presbytery met and opened with prayer. All the members present, except Clyde, who soon appeared. The Committee on the Signs of the Times reported. The report was amended and adopted. It is as follows:—
The committee on the signs of the times submit the following report:—
Our Lord compares the church to a city, her ministers to watchmen and to stars. He called John Baptist a “burning and shining light.” Who are to reform our sinful world, and dispel its moral darkness? The instruments to be employed in this work, are the church and her ministry. So Christ has declared, saying, “Ye are the light of the world.” It is the business of Zion’s watchmen to “go about the city,” and give intelligent answers to the iterated inquiry—“What of the night?” whether the question comes from an Edomite or an Israelite. And it is at their peril if they refuse or neglect this imperative duty. “Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:5. The Presbytery notice and submit for consideration, by those under their care, the following.
CAUSES OF FASTING.
1. Even among our ownselves some roots of bitterness have sprung up, to trouble and humble us, to know what is in our heart. Some, after vows have made inquiry, and become perfidious in covenant.
2. There is sinful and deplorable ignorance of God’s covenant character prevalent among all classes of the people. The so-called religious literature of our age, gives mostly and only a profile view of the true God. The same is true of the public preaching. The divine benevolence and mercy are extolled at the expense of justice.
3. From such defective and erroneous exhibitions of Jehovah’s character, men venture to insult his holiness and provoke his jealousy, by substituting their own inventions for his institutions. They vainly imagine, as of old, that what is most pleasing to them must needs be equally so to him. Micah 6:7. Hence the costly and gorgeous edifices, hymns, choirs, instruments, &c., in which they delight and boast themselves. Too many seem to forget that God ever said, “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.” Amos 5:23.
4. The holy name of God is profaned, not only by the common swearer, but by the multiplicity of irreverent oaths, and idolatrous kissing of the scriptures.
5. The Lord’s day, the Christian Sabbath, is desecrated throughout the whole land, in city and country, and by all ranks. “From the prophets is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” Some of the Christian ministry, with the approbation of their brethren, leaving their pastoral charges, have aspired to seats in the national and state legislatures; and in this capacity, given their sanction to actual legislation allowing railway traffic, mail service, and street car travel for business and pleasure on the day of sacred rest; thus “bringing more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”
6. Insubordination in the family, the church, and the state, is everywhere prevalent; and for this state of society, the natural and moral guardians are first and chiefly responsible. “Sabbath schools” and “Young Men’s Christian Associations,” are among the proximate causes of the breach of the fourth and fifth precepts of the law of God. Christian and ecclesiastical unions continue to be advocated and zealously pressed, by the costly sacrifice of precious truth; and these amalgamations of truth and error, are always followed, as heretofore, by farther disintegration of the body of Christ—“dividing Jacob, and scattering in Israel.”
7. Murders, suicides, parricides, infanticides, and other forms of horrid cruelty, defile the land with innocent blood; and it is not always cleansed by adequate retribution. Capital punishment was ordained for the murderer long before the law was given by Moses to the Jews, yet some of the States of this land impiously attempt to annul this divine ordinance! “Shall mortal man be more just than God?” “He that reproveth God, let him answer it.” Mercy to the murderer, is cruelty to the people.
8. Uncleanness is awfully prevalent in the land; and polygamy is still tolerated by the national authority; while adultery and fornication invade the church; and alas! these crimes and sins pollute the holy ministry!
9. Dishonesty, no longer confined to the professional gambler, pickpocket, or burglar, is now discovered in the high places of the land, among those entrusted with the custody of public funds; and this moral corruption is found among the official and moral guardians of church and state!
10. Subornation and bribery too often defeat the ends of justice, strongly inducing to perjury. This sin is implicitly and extensively sanctioned by churches, furnishing testimonials of good character to covenant-breakers.
11. All the sins and crimes above enumerated, with many more therewith inseparably connected, as they provoke the judgments of heaven, and proceed from covetousness, so they call for repentance, and are just grounds of fasting and humiliation by all who fear God.
CAUSES OF THANKSGIVING.
1. Our Lord is causing his word to be circulated in the languages of many nations, and giving indications of his gracious purpose, to cause his salvation to be known throughout the whole world.
2. Notwithstanding the heterogeneous population of this extensive land, the conflicting and antagonistic religions imported by the ceaseless tide of immigration, and the sharp collisions of political feeling; under the control of him who makes the wrath of man to praise him, the nation enjoys peace, and we share in the continued tranquility.
3. Our people manifest a commendable degree of intelligent attachment to the distinctive principles and order of the Covenanted Reformation, and also have fervent charity among themselves.
4. The cordial unanimity with which the Presbytery adopted the Supplements appended to the original Act, Declaration, and Testimony, calls for devout thankfulness to our covenant God.
5. No plague has been sent among the people of the land; while the earth has yielded her fruits to sustain man and beast.
6. The nations of Europe, even those that long committed fornication with the mother of harlots, are still endeavouring to fortify themselves by constitutional and statute laws against her aggressions and seductions.
The 4th Thursday of November, as a day of fasting, and the 4th Thursday of February, 1877, as a day of thanksgiving.
Mr. Robert Clyde was examined in open court as to his proficiency in Classics and Theology. All the members expressed satisfaction with the young man’s progress. It was, on motion, resolved that Presbytery’s next meeting be at the call of the Moderator; and a Commission was appointed to attend to any interim business which may be brought before it. Steele, McAuley, and Campbell are members of the committee; and Alexander was added by vote; also, Anderson to be Alexander’s alternate. Court then had a recess, during which Mr. Clyde delivered a discourse on the doctrine of the Atonement. Court again came to order, when the members made critical remarks on the student’s discourse. As a specimen of improvement, it was sustained as quite satisfactory; and the young man was directed to prosecute his studies under the superintendence of D. Steele.
From a remnant of our people in Adams Co., Ohio, sixty dollars were sent through D. Steele to the Presbytery, “to be disposed of at the pleasure of the court.” It was ordered that the money be appropriated by the committee on the publication of the Testimony, to binding the surplus copies of the Reformation Advocate.
The court then, on motion, adjourned to meet as above. Closed with prayer.
JOHN M’AULEY, Moderator.
DAVID STEELE, Clerk.