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Assembly, on the subject of Publication, and that for the next year Rev. Albert Barnes be the preacher, and Rev. Henry B. Smith, D.D., be the alternate.
FOREIGN MISSIONS. The report of the Committee on Foreign Missions was adopted without debate. It proposed no specific action at present.
CORRESPONDENCE. Correspondence was instituted fully and formally with the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Covenanter-the branch sometimes called “New Side.”] The terms are as follows:
The Committee on the Polity of the Church, to whom was referred the terms of correspondence with the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, made a report, which was adopted, and is as follows:
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, shall each appoint a minister with an alternate, to sit in the highest judicatories respectively, with the privilege of deliberating on all subjects coming before them, and of making suggestions on matters affecting the interests of both bodies mutually, or pertaining to the several interests of religion, but not of voting.
The ministers, members, and judicatories of these churches, treating each other with Christian respect, shall always recognize the validity of each other's acts and ordinances consonant to the word of God; it being understood, that any ecclesiastical judicatory belonging to either body may examine persons, or review cases of discipline, on points at present peculiar or distinctive to themselves respectively.
The Committee on the Polity of the Church also recommended that a correspondence be opened with the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Church on the same terms. The recommendation was approved, and a delegate appointed.
The terms of correspondence with other bodies was referred to a Special Committee, and on their report the following action was had:
Whereas, Several of the Associations, in correspondence with this body, have requested the views of this Assembly on the terms of correspondence, especially in regard to the right of reproof and rebuke, therefore,
Resolved, That the General Assembly have never intended to refuse to corresponding bodies any rights or privileges which are compatible with true delicacy, courtesy and Christian charity; in the light of which this body respectfully requests all corresponding bodies to interpret all past acts of the Assembly.
The Rev. Henry Smith, D. D., was requested to represent the Assembly in the Evangelical Conference at Berlin, Prussia, in September.
PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY. An elaborate and interesting address was delivered before the Assembly at the request of the Presbyterian Historical Society, by the Rev. Dr. Thompson, of Buffalo, on The HUGUENOTS.
DIGEST. The Committee on the Digest were directed to complete their work, and submit it to the Publication Committee, and that if approved by them, it be published under their direction.
MILEAGE. It appeared that 31 Presbyteries had approved the Overture on Mileage, and 19 had voted against it; a majority of Presbyteries not reporting in its favor, it was not adopted. $3,363 33 had been contributed to the funds of the Assembly this year. The following plan on the subject was then adopted:
The Committee on the Polity of the Church, to whom was referred the consideration of a permanent system of Mileage, present the following report:
The Constitution affirms that, “in order, as far as possible, to procure a respectable and full delegation to all our judicatories, it is proper that the expenses of ministers and elders, in their attendance on these judicatories, be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent."
The following recommendations are therefore submitted :
That each Presbytery be earnestly requested to contribute annually their full proportion towards the expenses of our General Assemblies.
That this proportion be determined by the number of communicants connected with the Presbytery.
That the rate, per capita, for the next Assembly, be five (5) cents for each communicant.
That each Presbytery be at liberty to apportion their quota among their churches as they shall deem best.
That the Standing Committee on Mileage, annually appointed, estimate and report the probable amount that will be needed to defray the necessary travelling expenses of the Commissioners, and the contingent expenses of the next succeeding Assembly, together with the rate that will be adequate.
That, on or before the fourth day of the sessions of each Assembly, the amount thus contributed be paid to the Committee on Mileage, and a bill be presented by each Commissioner, of his necessary travelling expenses and mileage.
That these bills having been duly audited by the Mileage Committee, be paid as fully as the funds will permit, after appropriating an amount sufficient to defray the contingent expenses of the Assembly.
That each minister and vacant church connected with those Presbyteries who have contributed their full quota to the fund, be entitled to a copy of the Annual Minutes.
That, in order to avail themselves of the privileges of this plan, the Presbyteries must contribute and forward to the Assembly their full proportion of this fund as thus determined.
The report was adopted.
No JUDICIAL BUSINESS. It was, as usual, ascertained that no judicial business came before the Assembly. This is a cause for very great gratulation.
The Assembly sat nearly two weeks; almost all the discussion was upon the subject of Slavery, and while there was intense feeling, and frequently crowded audiences attended, it is but mere justice to say, that the demeanor of the members was most courteous and Christian. We have never seen 225 men behave, under so exciting circumstances, in a more gentlemanly manner. The Moderator's conduct, by universal acknowledgment, was bland and impartial, manifesting as little feeling or temper as was well consistent with humanity. Religious exercises were attended for half an hour before each morning session. Many of the ministers preached during the two Sabbaths the Assembly were in Cleveland, and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered on the second Thursday evening.
The members of the Assembly bore away with them the recollection of kind friends at Cleveland who hospitably entertained them, and in many of whom they became much interested, laying the foundation of personal friendships. The Assembly finally adjourned on Wednesday evening to meet next year in Chicago.
Of the results of this important Assembly we will not now speak. They do not confine themselves to the present, but will mingle with the stream of history.
An Apology for the Common English Bible; and a Review of the extraordinary Changes made in it by the Managers of the Amer
ican Bible Society. Baltimore. 1857. The Overture and Speech of the Rev. R. J. Breckinridge, D.D., in the General Assembly, at Lexington, concerning the American Bible Society; as reported in the Presbyterian Herald. Louis
ville. 1857. Report on the History and recent Collation of the English Version of
the Bible; presented by the Committee on Versions to the Managers of the American Bible Society. New York. 1851.
These productions are alike in one particular. They all relate to the same subject, though they differ widely from each other in their character and ultimate object. The parentage of the Apology appears only at the close of the Preface, in the initials, A. C. C., which we interpret to mean Arthur Cleveland Coxe,
—the Rector, we believe, of an Episcopalian Church in Baltimore. It is a pamphlet of some sixty-eight pages, is printed in beautiful type, and upon fine paper; which is about all the good there is in it. For, while we do most fully sympathise in all the author says, and says so eloquently, in praise of our common English Bible, yet in the object for which he utters it, and in the connection in which it stands, it seems to us, in the homely but most expressive proverb of Solomon, like the beauty of a woman who has departed from the ways of discretiona jewel of gold in a swine's snout. We would not plant a rose on the verge of a yawning chasm, or tinge the brim of a cup of bitterness with juices sweet. Nor can we be tempted into the admiration of anything, however excellent in itself, which tends to blind the eye and hide from view the deformity connected with it. We dislike the habit of dilating upon what is beautiful and true, for the purpose of giving greater effect to that which is hateful and false.
* The subject of the Revision of the English Bible is one of the last importance. The Article now inserted, is not to be understood as the opinion of the Editors of this Review. They are not in any way responsible for it. But they wish the subject to be thoroughly discussed, and have, therefore, very cheerfully given room to this Article. No one can possibly be so well acquainted with all the facts connected with the action of the American Bible Society in the premises, as the author of this Article. It is, therefore, an exposition of the views of the revisers as he understands them. In this point of view, it is very interesting, and the Editors offer it to the public as part of the material which will enable them to make up their mind upon the whole matter. EDITORS.
We cannot, therefore, commend even the little that is good in this pamphlet.
The Overture of Dr. Breckinridge is badly drawn. It is very deficient in clear and logical distinctions, and utterly fails to meet the facts in the case. Some of its positions are entirely indefensible—are contrary to the uniform course pursued, both in England and in this country, in the publication of the Holy Scriptures. The character of the Speech, made in support of the Overture, is very much like it. The sermon conforms to the text. Both are based upon an entire misapprehension of the facts in the matter. Through both there is very apparent a fear that something wrong has been done. But what it is he hardly knows. The cry from Baltimore has reached his ear. He has read the Apology and is startled. He sees the work of the Committee on Versions in the obscurity and perversions of that mischievous pamphlet, and his fears furnish him with his arguments. We hope--confidently hope—to find him ultimately arrayed on the right side in this mad conflict of high church exclusiveness with the friends of co-operative Christianity and of that freedom, in reference to the Bible, wherewith they are invested by the Bible.
The Report of the Committee on Versions needs no comment from us. It speaks for itself. It is a plain, full, and frank statement of what they found as the result of the collation made under their direction, and of what they did in each case. There is no concealment. Their whole work lies spread out before the reader in this Report. He sees what they have done, and why they have done it. He sees that the work they did was that of restoration not of amendment, as some would represent it. He finds here proof enough that the only object the Committee have before them, is to present to their fellow men the word of God, in the English version, as pure and perfect as possible. And, while they claim no special freedom from