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FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
I. "God alone is Lord of the Conscience." The right of Private Judgment inalienable. The Civil Power to aid only by way of Protection and Security.
II. The right of the Church to declare the Terms of Admission to its Communion and the Qualifications of its Ministers and Members.
III. Christ hath appointed Officers to Preach the Gospel and Administer the Sacraments; also, to exercise Discipline.
IV. Truth is in order to Goodness; is essential to Holiness. The connection between Faith and Practice is inseparable.
V. All admitted as Teachers should be Sound in the Faith. But Charity is Duty where there may be Difference of Opinion.
VI. Holy Scriptures define the Qualifications and Authority of Church Officers. But the Election to the exercise of this Authority is in the particular Society in which it is to be exercised.
VII. All Church power is Ministerial and Declarative simply. No Church Court may make Laws to bind the Conscience. Their Decisions should be founded upon the Word of God.
VIII. Ecclesiastical Discipline moral in its object; has no civil effect, and derives its force from its own justice and the blessing of God....... 43
ADOPTION OF THE WESTMINSTER STANDARDS.
1. The Overture laid over for year. 2. The Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly adopted. 3. The "Directory for Worship, Discipline," etc., recommended. 4. Intrants and Candidates to adopt the Standards, a, b. 5. The Adopting Act to be inscribed in each Presbytery Book. 6. An Act explaining the Adopting Act. 7. PLAN OF UNION of the Synods of New York and Philadelphia, 1758. Declarations of the Synod-a, as to the mode of adopting the Confession; b, as to the Directory; c, d, as to the authority of "Pardovan's Collections." 8. THE CONSTITUTION as adopted in 1788: a, Form of Government and Discipline, and the Confession of Faith, ratified; how they may be altered; b, The Directory for Worship and the Catechisms amended and adopted. 9. Proof texts added by order of the Assembly, a, b, c. 10. Authority of the Notes; the text alone contains the Constitution. 11. Use and Obligation of the Standards. 12. Subscription to them required in every case. 13. The Catechisms are an Integral part of the
Standards, a, b, c, d, The Heidelberg Catechism approved; e, Subscription to the Confession implies assent to the Catechisms. 14. Ministers who cannot adopt the Standards not to be received. 15. The Assembly refuses to alter the language of the Confession. RELATIONS OF THE OLD AND NEW SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES, 18381870. 16. Committee of Correspondence appointed, a; The result, b. 17. Answers to Overtures on Reunion, N. S. 18. O. S. 19. Correspondence between the Assemblies initiated, O. S., a; Response of N. S., b. 20. Action looking to Reunion; Committees appointed, a, b, 1866. 21. Report of the Joint Committee on Reunion; terms proposed. 22. Action on this Report; Assemblies of 1867; a, the O. S.; b, the N. S.; the Committee continued. 23. Second Report of the Joint Committee, 1868; proposed Terms of Reunion: a, Action of the Assembly O. S. approved and sent to the Presbyteries; b, Action of the Assembly N. S. approved and sent down as an Overture. 24. Report of Special Committee on the above Report, N. S. 25. Modification proposed, O. S., a; Answer, N. S., b. 26. Protest of E. P. Humphreys and others, a; Answer of the Assembly, b. 27. Answers of the Presbyteries to the Overture on Reunion-a, of the O. S.; b, of the N. S. 28. GENERAL ASSEMBLIES OF 1869 AT NEW YORK: Committees appointed, a, b, by both Assemblies. 29. Report of the Joint-Committee: I. Plan of Reunion; II. Concurrent Declarations; III. Recommendation of a Day of Prayer. 30. The Report adopted -a, by the O. S., b, by the N. S. 31. The adjourned meetings at Pittsburg, November, 1869: a, Report of the Stated Clerk O. S.; b, Report of the Stated Clerk N. S. 32. Report of the Joint-Committee of Conference. 33. The Reunion declared as
of binding force. 34. The Reunion Convention. 35. The "Memorial" Resolution. 36. Plan of the Memorial Contribution. 37. Report of the Committee on the Memorial Fund.....
OF THE CHURCH.
I. The Church is the Kingdom of Christ. II. The Universal Church. III. Consists of many Particular Churches. IV. A Particular Church defined. 1. New Churches, how organized: a, Ordinarily by application to Presbytery; b, Mode of Procedure; c, Entering into Covenant; d, Election of Elders and Deacons; e, Reported to Presbytery, and taken under its care; ƒ and g, Imperfectly organized congregations. 2. Who are the constituent members of the Church, a, b, c, d. 3. Of Trustees and Charters, a, b. 4. Control of Trustees over a House of Worship. 5. Respective rights of Trustees and Sessions, a; to be decided by local laws, b. 6. Congregations acting through their Trustees not responsible to the Presbyteries. 7. Decision of U. S. Supreme Court as to the relative rights of Trustees and Sessions............ 107
OF THE OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH.
I. The Extraordinary and Temporary. II. The Ordinary and Perpetual. See under Chaps. IV. V. VI........ ... 112
OF BISHOPS OR PASTORS.
The Pastoral Office, its dignity, duties and titles. 1. Stated Supplies have not a Pastoral Relation: a, The Relation discouraged; b, The Pastoral Relation enjoined; c, d, The system of Stated Supplies unknown to our system; e, Churches having Stated Supplies represented as if vacant; f, Presbyteries should decline to ordain to serve as a Stated Supply. 2. Fidelity in Pastoral Duties enjoined, a, b, c............... 112
OF RULING ELDERS.
Ruling Elders are the Representatives of the People. a, Assistants to aid the Minister. 1. The Eldership Essential to the Existence of a Presbyterian Church. 2. Elders must be duly elected and set apart. 3. A Ruling Elder without Charge has no seat in a Church Court. 4. He cannot hold office in two Churches at the same time; 5. Nor adjudicate in a Church in which he is not an Elder. 6. He has the same Right to sit in Synod as in Presbytery. 7. Restoration after suspension from Church Privilege does not Restore him to Office. 8. Elders are not to Participate in the Ordination of ministers, by the Laying on of Hands, a, b, c, d. 9. They may not Administer Sealing Ordinances. 10. May Explain the Scriptures and Exhort, in the Absence of the Pastor. 11. Are amenable to Presbytery, when the Session is Incompetent to act.....
Scripture Warrant for the Office. 1. Deacons have no Juridical Power, a. Their Functions and Duties, b, c. 2. The same Person may hold the Office of Elder and of Deacon, if necessary. 3. The appointment of Deacons Enjoined. 4. The Deacons alone have control of Funds Collected for the Poor of the Church. 5. The Session may determine whether the Deacons shall Officiate on Sacramental occasions. 6. Deacons may not Represent the Church in its Courts.......................
OF ORDINANCES IN A PARTICULAR CHURCH.
The Ordinances Enumerated. See, also, Directory for Worship............
OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND THE SEVERAL KINDS OF JUDICATORIES.
I. The Necessity of Definite form in Government. Our Church governed by Congregational, Presbyterial and Synodical Assemblies..........
II. The Power of these Assemblies is wholly moral and Spiritual. It is Ministerial and Declarative. They possess the right-To require obedience, to the laws of Christ: To exclude the Disorderly: To obtain Evidence and inflict Censure. The highest Penalty they can inflict is Exclusion of the Impenitent and Contumacious. 1. Union of Church and State Disavowed; Relations of the Church to the State Defined. 2. The right of any Judicatory to bear Testimony against erroneous and injurious Publications .... 120
OF THE CHURCH SESSION.
I. The members of the Session. The Pastor and Elders of that Particular Congregation. 1. A Session formed of Elders, not of that particular Congregation, is unconstitutional and its acts void, a, b, c, d. 2. An Elder may not adjudicate in any other Church than that of which he is an Elder. 3. A Minister may not sit as a corre sponding member; nor be assigned as Counsel. 4. Elders must be ordained before they can act judicially; otherwise, the Decision is Invalid. 5. An Elder dismissed, and Returning his Let'er unused, is reinstated in Office..... 123
II. Quorum of Session. The Pastor must always be one, with two Elders, if there be so many. 1. A Minister, with one Elder, may be a Quorum, a, Where there is but one, b, c, Where Refusal to act or Incapacity leaves but One. 2. Less than a Quorum are incapable of any Organic Act.........
III. The Moderator of the Session. Ordinarily the Pastor. For Special reasons the Session may invite any other Minister belonging to the Same Presbytery to Preside. [See under IV., below]...... 125
IV. When a Church is without a Pastor. The Moderator may be the Minister appointed by the Presbytery for that purpose; or One of the Same Presbytery (See IV., above), or a Member of the Session. 1. Where a Minister is the Accuser, a Minister should Preside. 2. Who may Moderate the Session in the absence of a Pastor, a. b, Only a Member of the same Presbytery, in cases contemplated in Section III. and IV., Chap. IX., c. The Session to judge when it is impracticable to obtain a Moderator....... 125 V. Where there are more Pastors than One, they Should Preside Alternately............ 127 VI. The Duties and Powers of the Church Session: To Maintain the Spiritual Government of the Congregation. 1. The Session has Original Jurisdiction over the Members of the Church, a, b, c, d. 2. Jurisdiction over a Suspended Member is in the Court which Suspended him. 3. A Church Member may not be Excommunicated on Confession. Confession may Shorten Process, but does not Dispense with Trial. 4. To Receive Members to the Church. The vote of the Session admits the Members to the Church; those unbaptized must be baptized; the Session may prescribe a Public Profession of the Faith, and Employ a Church Covenant; such Covenants Discretionary. 5. An Unbaptized Person must make a Public Profession. 6. A Member Received from Another Church, should bring a Certificate. 7. Members should be received only by an Individual Session, regularly constituted, a, For a Session to Receive those intending to belong to another Congregation, irregular, b, also, to Receive Members from Churches of our connection who have not been Dismissed. 8. Representation in the Superior Courts Required, a, b. 9. Attendance of Elders upon Synods Enforced, a, b. 10. The same Elder who Represented his Session at a Stated Meeting must Represent it at an Adjourned Meeting. 11. Session may not Prohibit Collections Ordered by the Superior Court, a, b......................... 127 VII. The Pastor may Convene the Session at his own Discretion, and must Convene it when Requested by Two Elders...... 132
VIII. The Session must keep full Records, and Submit them to Presbytery Annually, for Review. 1. The Records must be full. 2. Testimony in Judicial cases must be engrossed. 3. Records approved may not be altered; How an error may be corrected.....
IX. Register to be kept of Marriages, Baptisms and Admissions. 1. Reports to show only Actual Membership. 2. Ministers not to be Enrolled as Members of the Church they Serve....... 133
OF THE PRESBYTERY.
I. The need of Mutual Counsel and Assistance; hence Presbyterial and Synodical Assemblies.........
134 II. What constitutes a Presbytery. All the Ministers, not less than five, and one Elder from each Church within certain limits. 1. Presbyteries constituted of Ministers, a, b, Elective Affinity
2. Presbyteries should be bounded by Geographical lines, a.
discouraged, b. Exceptions, c, d. 3. Ministers, W. C., entitled to a seat. 4. An Elder, W. C., is not entitled. 5. Ministers living without the Bounds of their Presbytery to give Satisfactory Reasons, or be transferred to the Presbytery within which they Reside. 6. Ministers, W. C., must unite with the Presbytery within which they Reside, or are Nearest to. 7. The above Rule Defined: Its meaning, that every Minister should be a Member of the Presbytery in whose bounds he Resides. 8. Presbyteries must be Defined by Geographical lines, or lines of Travel. 9. Presbyteries may not be organized so as to cover the same ground............. 134 III. Every Congregation having a Pastor has the Right to be Represented in Presbytery by an Elder, and an additional Elder for every additional Pastor. Term "Collegiate Church" defined. 1. "A Church with more than one Pastor;" 2. "Two or more Churches united under one Pastor” ...................... ...................
IV. Two or more Churches, united under one Pastor, are entitled to but One Representative. 1. United Congregations Represented by but One Elder. 2. Where a Minister serves one Church as Pastor, and another, or others, as Stated Supply, each is entitled to a Representative. 3. Churches in different Presbyteries under one Pastor as permitted by the Reconstruction Act....... 138 V. Every Vacant Congregation Entitled to a Representative. 1. Every congregation which has not a Pastor is vacant, a, b, Even though it may be Statedly Supplied....... 139 VI. Presbytery may Require a Certificate of Appointment.... 139 VII. Quorum. Three Ministers and as many Elders as may be present. 1. A Quorum may consist wholly of Ministers, a, b; Explanatory, c. 2. Less than three Ministers not a quorum. 3. Less than a Quorum may adjourn; any other act is void; they cannot Receive a Member so as to get a Quorum. 4. The Assembly, on petition, sanctions the Reception of a Member by less than a Quorum, a, b, c, d................. 139 VIII. POWERS OF THE PRESBYTERY. 1. To Receive and Issue Appeals and References from Church Sessions, etc. See Book of Discipline, Chap. VII. Secs. I., II., III. and IV.............. 144
2. To Examine and License Candidates for the Ministry. Licentiates should be Regularly received and with caution; a. Case of John McClean; b. Case of Francis Hindman; c. Case of James McCoy. See under Form of Government, Chap. XIV., " Of Licensing Candidates"......... 144
3. To Ordain Ministers. 2. Ordination by a Commission, a; George Gillespie, b; Robert Wotherspoon, e; David Evans, d. 3. Ordination by Foreign bodies not Approved of. 4. Lay Ordination is Invalid, a, b. 5. Rules for Receiving a Minister from another Church; the same Qualifications required as of our own Candidates: If found Qualified they are not to be re-ordained, but only Installed if called to settle over a Presbyterian Church, a, b. 6. Ordination procured by Deception and Fraud valid; but Presbytery should at once Depose the Impostor. 7. Ordination on the Sabbath at the Discretion of Presbytery. 8. Reasons for receiving an Ordained Minister to be Recorded. 9. Leave to Ordain Refused, where there is no Presbytery........
4. To Install Ministers. 10. The cognizance of settling Pastors belongs to Presbytery. 11. A Pastoral Relation Recognized, without Installment. 12. The Presbytery may Refuse to Install, even where the Parties are Agreed............................... 149
5. To Remove Ministers. 13. The Presbytery may Dissolve a Pastoral Relation at its own Discretion, a, b. 14. Presbytery dissolves Pastoral Relation by order of Synod. 15. A Pastor may not be Dismissed to a Body other than that to which his Church belongs....... .......... 150