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James Dodson


MIAMI MEETING HOUSE, October 6th, 1856.

The Reformed Presbytery met agreeably to adjournment, and was opened with prayer. Members present, Rev. J.J. Peoples, Rev. D. Steele, with William M’Kinley and Robert Mitchel, ruling elders. Messrs. J. French, T. Fulton and M. Mitchel, ruling elders, were invited to seats as consultative members. Mr. Peoples was continued Moderator, and Mr. J. Fulton appointed Clerk. The court heard a specimen of improvement from their theological student, Mr. Fulton, which was sustained as a creditable performance.

The days of thanksgiving and fasting had been duly observed. The Moderator and Mr. M’Kinley were appointed to prepare causes of fasting and thanksgiving, to be presented at next sedurunt.

Adjourned to meet at the same place, at 10 o’clock to-morrow. Closed with prayer.

SAME PLACE, October 7th, 1856.

Court met and opened with prayer. The members were all present. Report of the committee on the Signs of the Times being celled for, the committee reported progress, when the court proceeded to complete the draught of causes of fasting and thanksgiving as follows:

The providence of God, changeable in its aspects, furnishes calls to humiliation on the part of all who are concerned for the maintenance of divine truth, and the displaying of the declarative glory of its Author. In viewing the signs of the times, we deem the following to be


1. The late and continued outrages in the Territory of Kansas, accompanied with the shedding of innocent blood, thereby defiling the land, and provoking the wrath of a holy and jealous God.

2. The countenance given to this state of things by the general Government, and so making the guilt contracted national.

3. The continued effort of those in power to extend the area of Slavery.

4. The best of existing political parties, actuated by a selfish principle, avow their readiness to support slavery where it is.

5. A large majority of ecclesiastical bodies fail to maintain the righteous claims of the Mediator, and co-operate with political parties in the impious attempt to rob Him of his royal prerogatives.


In the midst of deserved wrath, our covenant God still remembers mercy. We are called to thanksgiving by the following considerations:

1. A few co-operate with us, though in other Christian fellowships, in maintaining and defending many of the precious doctrines of the Gospel, especially the universal dominion of the Mediator.

2. Notwithstanding the threatening aspects of the seasons, shadowing forth deserved judgments, God has crowned the year with his goodness, giving food for man and beast.

3. A goodly number have been roused by the cruel effects of slavery, to resist and testify against that complicated and infamous iniquity.

4. Some of those who have long been in the use of uninspired psalmody in the praise of God. have recently lifted their voice on behalf of the “words which the Holy Ghost teacheth,” as being above all competition by uninspired men.

A petition from some people at Blue creek, Adams county, Ohio, asking stated supply by Rev. D. Steele, was granted; and Rev. J.J. Peoples was directed to supply the people at Walnut Ridge, as far as convenient.

Mr. Fulton was continued under the direction of the Moderator till next meeting; with instructions to have in readiness for delivery at next meeting of the court, a lecture on Heb. 1: 1-4, and a sermon on Rom. 3:24.

The last Thursday of November was appointed a day of thanksgiving, and the second Thursday of March, 1857, a day of fasting by all under the care of Presbytery.

Adjourned by prayer, to meet at the same place in May next, at the call of the Moderator.

J.J. PEOPLES, Moderator.

J.F. FULTON, Clerk.