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I. The Synod, a Convention of the Bishops and Elders within a District, including at least
Three Presbyteries. The Synod may be Composed either of all the Bishops and an Elder
from each Congregation, or of equal Delegations of Ministers and Elders in a Ratio de-
termined by itself and its Presbyteries. 1. Synod may not Refuse to Receive the Mem-
bers of its Presbyteries, a, b, c, Nor enjoin the Erasure of their Names. 2. The
Synods as Constituted by the Enabling Act of 1870. 3. Changes in the Boundaries
of the Synods, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, k, l........
4. The Synods as Reorganized in 1881, a; The Enabling Act, b. 5. Synods Formed
since the Reunion.-Nebraska, a; The Columbia, b; Texas, c; Utah, d; Dakota, e;
North Dakota, f. 6. Mode in which a Synod may become a Delegated Body..... 503
II. Quorum of Synod. Seven Ministers, but not more than Three Belonging to one Pres-
bytery. 1. The Rule as to a Quorum must be Observed, a, Invalid Proceedings, how
Cured, b, Acts of Less than a Quorum, Void. 2. Session on the Sabbath for Busi-
ness, Censured, a, b. 3. The Remedy when Synod fails to meet on its Adjournment,
a, Less than a Quorum may Adjourn from Day to Day, The Moderator may fix
Time and Place, b, The Assembly may fix both. 4. Pro re nata Meetings of Synod
are Constitutional, a, The Moderator may call such Meeting, b, c. 5. The Mod-
erator must Specify the Object for which it is Convened. 6. The Moderator
has no Power to Change the Time of Meeting, a, b. 7. The Assembly may Change
the Time and the Place...........
8. Chap. X., Sec. X., Form of Government, does not Apply to Synod. 9. A pro re nata
Meeting to Approve the Minutes Sustained. 10. Action of Synod changing the
Place of Meeting Legalized. 11. How the Place of Meeting may be Changed...... 508
III. Rules as to Corresponding Members, Same as in Presbytery......
IV. THE POWERS OF THE SYNOD. 1. To Receive and Issue Appeals regularly Brought; To
Decide References; Its Decisions on Appeals, Complaints and References, which do not
Affect Doctrine or Constitution, being Final; To Review the Records of Presbyteries; To
Redress Wrong-Doing in the Presbyteries; To Oversee the Presbyteries; To Erect, Unite,
or Divide Presbyteries; and Generally to take Order for the Edification of the Church.
The Synod has Power to act by Commission in Judicial Cases........
1. The Synod has Appellate, but not Original Jurisdiction, a, b, c. 2. Appeals must be
in Regular Order; Parol Testimony may not Supersede the Records. 3. Synod
may not Institute Judicial Process; Such Proceeding Void. 4. The Synod may
Reverse and Correct Proceedings on Complaint, but must Observe the Principles
of Discipline. 5. The Synod has Jurisdiction over the Members of an Extinct
Presbytery. 6. A Synod "visits" a Church to ascertain the acceptability of its
Elders. 7. Directs a Presbytery to Dissolve a Pastoral Relation......
8. Directs a Presbytery to Issue a Certificate of Dismission......
V. Meetings of the Synod. At least Annual; To be Opened with a Sermon; Every Session to
be Opened and Closed with Prayer. 1. The Rule as to the Opening Sermon Literal,
and to be Obeyed, a, b. 2. The Records should show that the Sessions were Opened
and Closed with Prayer, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j............................................
VI. The Records must be full and fair; They must be Submitted Annually to the Assembly;
Report of Number of Presbyteries. 1. Report must be Full, a, b; Assigning Reasons
for Decisions, c, d, Recording the Nature of the Action, e, f, g, h, i, Similar Defects
2. The Records should be Fair. 3. Must be Presented Annually, a, b. Reports to
Assembly, c, d, Censure for Carelessness, e, and for not having Presented Annually,
f, g, h, i. 4. The Records must show all Changes in the Presbyteries, a, b. 5. The
Records should State the Body to which a Corresponding Member Belongs, a, b, c, d.
6. The Minutes should be Read and Approved, a, b, c, d, e. 7. They should be
Attested by the Stated Clerk, a, b, c. 8. Absentees must be called to Answer.
9. Their Names must be Recorded, a, b, c. 10. Synod may not Discipline Absentees
without Trial. 11. A Narrative of the State of Religion should be Prepared and
Recorded, a, b, c.............................................................................................
12. Reasons for Judicial Actions must be Recorded, a, b, c. 13. The Subject-matter of
a Complaint must be Recorded, as also the Disposal made of it. Synod of Illinois
Central, a; Synod of Baltimore, b; Synod of Nebraska, c. 14. A Special Record
of all Judicial Decisions must be sent up. 15. The Records must be Attested.
Synod of Erie, a; Synod of Baltimore, b. 13. Corrections may not be made after
Review. 14. Records should be kept in Handwriting. 15. Permission given to
Present Printed Records on Conditions Prescribed. 16. The Absentees must be
Recorded. 17. The Record must State the Character of the Complaint and whether
due Notice was given. Papers Adopted must be Recorded. Synod of Columbia, a;
Synod of Minnesota, b. Synod of Missouri. Where a Paper is Recorded, Record
must be made of the Action upon it, c. 18. The Record should be without Abbre-
viations. 19. The Minutes should be Read and Approved before Adjournment.
Synod of Cincinnati, a; Synod of Minnesota, b..........
I. The General Assembly the Highest Judicatory of the Church; Its Official Title. 1. The
Formation of the General Assembly, a, b. 2. Annual Organization of the Assem-
bly. 3. Rules of Organization; Committee on Commissions, a; Committee of Elec-
tions, b, c. 4. Mode of Choosing the Moderator. 5. Installing the Moderator.
6. Communications Addressed to the Moderator. 7. He has only the Casting Vote.
8. When the Moderator will not Preside, a, b, c. 9. Rules as Adopted in 1871.
10. Officers of the Assembly. 1. The Stated Clerk; His Appointment, a; His Duties, b;
To Notify Presbyteries whose Commissioners have left without Excuse, c; Stated
Clerk to Act as Treasurer of the Assembly; His Salary, d. 2. The Permanent
Clerk; His Appointment and Duties, a, b, c, d; His Salary, e. 3. The Temporary
Clerks, a, b; Choice not Confined to Members of Assembly, c, d........
11. Organization of the Assembly. The Rule of 1871, as Amended, a; The Standing
Orders, b. 12. The General Rules for Judicatories, as Amended, 1880 and 1885.
13. The Stated Clerk, his Salary, a; To Act as Treasurer. b; Arrangements for
Transportation of Commissioners Placed Permanently in his Hands. Compensa-
tion, c; Temporary Clerks to be Nominated by the Stated and Permanent Clerks, d;
14. Duties of the Committee on Bills and Overtures.....
II. Bishops and Elders to be Equal in Number; Ratio and Style of Delegates. 1. The
Ratio. 2. Where more are Elected than their Quota, the last Elected are Refused.
3. Commissioners should be Chosen who will Attend during all the Sessions.
4. Corresponding Members; Not to be Invited. 5. Delegates from other Bodies not
now Entitled to Vote. 6. The Secretaries of the Boards; The Stated and Perma-
nent Clerks have the Privileges of Corresponding Members, a, b. 7. The Standing
Committees of the Assembly. I.-XVIII......
V. POWERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 1. Decisions and Deliverances on Doctrine.
1. Case of Samuel Harker. 2. Testimony against Universalism and Socinianism, a,
b, c. 3. Case of Hezekiah Balch. 4. Of William C. Davis; His Book-The Gospel
Plan-Condemned. 5. Of Thomas B. Craighead. 6. Of Albert Barnes. 7. Testi-
mony against Doctrinal Errors. 8. An Explication of Doctrines. 9. Testimony
against Certain Disorders and Irregularities. 10. Powers of the Assembly in Dis-
cipline; Definition and Limitations. 11. Testimony of the Assembly on the Out-
break of the Civil War, 1861. 12. Resolutions on the State of the Country, and
Letter to the President of the United States, 1862, a, b, 13. Duty of Citizens to
Support the Administration, 1863. 14. Resolutions Upholding the Government,
1864. 15. Upon the Assassination of President Lincoln, 1865. 16. Powers of the
Assembly in Defining and Determining which are True and Lawful Judicatories.
17. Case of the Walnut St. Church, Louisville; the Assembly passes upon the Valid-
ity of the Election of Ruling Elders, a, b; The Case in the Courts of Kentucky, c;
Appeal Directed to be Taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, d; Final
Report; The Position of the Assembly Sustained by the Supreme Court, e; Report
of the Case; Opinion of the Court, f............
18. The Right to Petition and to Memorialize the Assembly Affirmed, a, b. 19. One
who does not Submit Debarred the Right. 20. Bills and Overtures Received only
from Presbyteries and Synods. 21. Memorials Received from Individuals, a, b, c, d.
22. Memorials and Overtures Received from Bodies other than Presbyteries and
Synods, a, b, c, d. 23. The Rule of 1870 Affirmed and Enforced, a, b, c, d, e. 24. The
Rule does not Deny the Right of Petition. 25. Decisions and Deliverances
on Doctrine. Case of John Miller, D. D., a; Case of the Rev. Isaac M. See, b; De-
liverance on the so-called Higher Criticism, c. 26. The Power of Visitation exer-
cised by the Assembly, a; Report of the Committee, b. 27. Pastoral Letter on
Sabbath-schools. 28. Testimony against the Support of Roman Catholic and other
Denominational Institutions by Public Funds.....................................................
2. Of Erecting New Synods; Altering their Bounds, etc., a; Erecting, b; Changing Boun-
daries, c; Transferring Churches, d, Dissolving Synods, e..........
Reorganizing, f; Erecting New Synods, g.....
3. Of Erecting, Modifying, Changing and Dissolving Presbyteries. a, Of Erecting, etc.,
Carlisle, Huntingdon; b, Columbia, Oneida, Albany; c, Geneva, Detroit, Chenango;
d, Philadelphia Second; e, Philadelphia Third; f, Luzerne; g, Wisconsin; h, Ningpo,
Amoy, Western Africa; i, California, San Francisco, Oregon, Sierra Nevada and San
Jose; j, Yedo, Wyoming, Montana. 2. To Transfer Churches. 3. To Transfer Min-
isters, a, b. 4. To Receive other Ecclesiastical Bodies. a, The Presbytery of Suf-
folk; b, The Presbytery of Charleston; c, The Associate Reformed Synod; d, The
Presbytery of Pittsburg, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. 5. To Define the
Succession of Presbyteries.........
Erecting, etc., Puget Sound, South Oregon, Denver, Pueblo, Alaska, Chili, Zacatecas, a ;
Dissolving, b; Changing, c. 6. Of Receiving, etc., Presbytery of Philadelphia, of
the Reformed Presbyterian Church.........
4. Of Corresponding with Foreign Churches. 1. The Assembly alone may open Cor-
respondence. 2. Proposals for Correspondence with the New England Churches.
3. Plan of Correspondence with the General Association of Connecticut. 4. THE
PLAN OF UNION and action under it. 5. Correspondence with the Reformed
Churches. a, With the Reformed Dutch Church; b, Amendments of the Plan;
c, Proposal Declined; d, Complaint against Presbytery of North River. 6. Southern
Presbyterian Church Recognized as an Independent Body. 7. Correspondence with
the Southern Presbyterian Church, a, b, c, d, Answer of the Southern Assembly;
e, Action touching the Southern Assembly Declared null and void. 8. Report on
Foreign Correspondence, 1870. 9. Bodies with which the Assembly is at present in
Correspondence, 1873. 10. Power of the Assembly to Expel a Member. 11. Deliv-
erance on the Perils of our System of Public Education. 12. THE PASTORAL LET-
TERS. 1. On Missions. 2. On the Old French War, 1756. 3. On the Repeal of the
Stamp Act, 1766. 4. On the Revolution, 1775. 5. Address to Washington, 1789;
Reply of the President, 1790. 6. On the Results of the French Revolution, 1798.
7. On the Disturbances in Kentucky, etc., 1804. 8. On the Sabbath, 1814. 9. On
Christian Activity, 1817. 10. On prevalent Vices and Immoralities, 1818. 11. On
Revivals and their Abuses, 1832. 12. On the Maintenance of Doctrinal Purity, 1839.
13. On Revivals of Religion, 1849. 14. On Diligence in Repairing the Wastes of
War, 1865. 15. On the Observance of the Sabbath, 1867......
15. Correspondence. The Assembly Receives and Appoints Delegates only in the Case
of Ecclesiastical Bodies, a, b. 16. The Presbyterian Alliance. Report of Delegates
to the London Conference of 1875, a; Constitution of the Alliance, b; Provision for
Expenses of the Standing Committee. Secretary, c; Members of the Executive
Committee Appointed, d. 17. The Assembly will not Appoint Delegates to Churches
Represented in the Alliance. Exceptions. The Southern Presbyterian Church, a :·
The Free Evangelical Church of France, b. 18. Correspondence with the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, a, b, c, d, e. 19. Del-
egates Appointed by the Southern Assembly, a; Delegates to the Southern Assem-
bly, b; To Correspond by Letter, c; Committee of Correspondence Appointed, d.
20. Special Committee on Co-operation, a; Report of Committee, b. 21. Answer to
Memorial of O. S. Synod of Missouri.....
VI. Modes in which Changes may be made in the Constitution; The Approval of a Majority
of Presbyteries Required. 1. Power of the Assembly to make Standing Rules.
2. General Principles on which Amendments may be made, a, b, c; In what way
Doctrinal Portions may be Amended. 3. Amendments Approved by the Presby-
teries, but not Adopted by the Assembly. 4. Where all the Presbyteries do not
respond, the votes given are to be filed as the final answer of those Presbyteries,
unless reversed by them, a, b; But the Asssembly sends down the Overture again.
5. The Manner in which Answers to Overtures are to be Authenticated to the
6. The Clerks authorized to Declare an Amendment Adopted. 7. Returns on Over-
tures Referred to a Committee of Canvass, a, b, c. Answer Recorded after the
Result is Declared, d. 8. Formal Declaration that Overtures have been Adopted and
become a Part of the Constitution of the Church. Revised Book of Discipline, a;
Amendments to, b; Reduced Representation, c. Judicial Commissions, d......... 542
I. The Mode in which Ecclesiastical Rulers should be Ordained to their Offices...
II. Ruling Elders and Deacons to be Chosen in the Mode most Approved, and in Use in that
Congregation; Must be male Members in Full Communion. 1. Elders must be duly
Elected and set apart. 2. The Session may Propose Names to the Congregation.
3. A Meeting of the Congregation to Elect Elders can be called only by the Session,
or some Higher Court. 4. The Remedy, if the Session Refuse. 5. A Superior Ju-
dicature authorizes the Meeting. 6. Irregularity of the Call does not necessarily
Invalidate the Election, a; nor does Irregularity in the Mode of Election Invali-
date the Ordination, b; Those Elected must be Members in Full Communion with
that Church, a. 7. Ministers not Eligible, b; Because not Members of a particular
Church, c; An Exception made in case of Foreign Missionaries, d. 8. Uniformity
in the Mode of Election deemed Impracticable. 9. The Mode most Approved and
in Use may be Changed; There should be a Direct Vote of the Congregation.
10. A Superior Judicature may not Interfere with the Mode in Use. 11. Who are
Electors of Ruling Elders and Deacons? a, Election not made Void where others
than Communicants Vote; b, Only Baptized Persons may Vote; c, and that Com-
municants only should Vote Advised; d, No Distinction to be made as to the Age
of the Electors. 12. Election for a term of years; a, Declared Irregular; b, Over-
ture to limit the Term of Service Declined; c, d, e, Overture to make the Office
Temporary Refused; f, Plan Condemned. 13. The right to Elect to Serve for a
Term of Years aflirmed; Judicial Case; a, History of the Case; b, Action of the
Assembly; c, Minute in the Case; The Office Perpetual, but the Time of its Exer-
cise Left to the Decision of the Church itself; d, Dissent; e, Answer of the Assem-
bly; Limitation of the Term of Service Constitutional...
14. Election Governed by the Mode most in Use and Approved. 15. A Minister not
Eligible as a Ruling Elder. 16. The Word "Congregation" defined as Meaning
Actual Communicants. 17. All Office Bearers must Faithfully Accept the Stand-
ards. 18. No Authority for the Election of Deaconesses. 19. Term Service of
Deacons, a, b...........
III., IV. Upon Acceptance of the Election, the Mode of Ordination and Installation.
V. The Existing Session to give the Right Hand of Fellowship. 1. Mode of Ordina-
tion; Laying on of Hands Approved, a, b, c; But left to the Discretion of the Ses-
sion. 2. Ordination Essential to the Validity of the Judicial Acts of an Elder.
3. Must be Installed on Resuming Office. 4. Order of Installing an Elder already
5. An Elder who has Removed or Resigned, if Re-elected, must be again Installed. 546
VI. The Office of Ruling Elder and Deacon Perpetual; But Either may Cease to Act.
1. Perpetuity of the Office Affirmed, a, b. 2. Restoration to Church Privileges
does not Restore to the Eldership. 3. An Elder without Charge can sit in no
VII. Of the Way in which an Elder Incapable of Serving the Church to Edification, may be
Relieved of the Functions of his Office; His own Consent or the Action of the Presbytery
must be had. 1. Elders who cannot obey the Superior Court should Resign.
2. They may Resign to promote the Peace of the Church. 3. The Superior
Court directs to cease acting. 4. A Presbytery may direct an Elder to cease to act,
without a request from the Session. 5. When an Elder is unacceptable; the Rem-
edy, to Memorialize Presbytery. 6. When an Elder Resigns, Presbytery may not
order his Restoration. 7. The Official Relations of an Elder terminate with his
Dismission. 8. The Return of a Letter, unused, Restores to Official Position.... 349
OF LICENSING CANDIDATES OR PROBATIONERS TO PREACH THE GOSPEL.
I. The Scriptural Requirements; Reasons for Trial of Candidates; Presbyteries shall
License. 1. Preaching without Licensure Condemned as Irregular, a; Disapproved
of, b. 2. On the Licensing and Ordaining of Women, a; Deliverance on the Sub-
ject, b. 3. Education for the Ministry. a, The Board of Education Established;
b, Charter of the Board; c, The Permanent Committee on Education Established;
d, Charter of the Committee. 4. BOARD OF EDUCATION of the Reunited Church.
a, Constitution; b, Act of Incorporation; c, Act Authorizing Transfer of Property
of Committee to the Board; d, Rules of the Board of Education..................... 352
5. Women may not Fulfill the Offices of Public Preachers......
II. Candidates to be under Care of the Presbytery to which they naturally belong; Defined;
Exceptions. 1. The Usage of the Olden Time. 2. Going Abroad for Licensure Dis-
approved of. 3. Candidates for the Ministry should be placed under care of Pres-
bytery; a, Especially in their Theological Studies; b, As soon as Possible, and
Licensed, Ordinarily by the Presbytery to which they belong; c, The Full Term
should not be Shortened. 5. No Candidate to be Received until he has been a
Communicant, and pursued his Classical Studies for a year. 6. Candidates must
Connect themselves with the Presbytery to which they naturally Belong......... 364
7. The above confirmed.........
III. Literary and Moral Qualifications Demanded; Must be a Member of some Particular
Church, and give Satisfaction as to Experience and Motives; Testimonials of Scholarship.
1. A liberal Education Required, a, b; To keep pace with the Progress of Society
and of Letters, c. 2. Letter on the Thorough Literary Training of the Ministry.
3. Liberal Education waived in certain Cases, a; b, Case of John Gloucester.
4. THEOLOGICAL INSTRUCTION; a, Overtures for the Establishment of a Theological
School; b, Plans Proposed; c, Act Establishing the Seminary; d, Agreement with
Trustees of College of New Jersey. e, Terms of Agreement; f, Location fixed at
Princeton. 5. THE SEMINARIES: 1. Princeton; Plan of the Seminary, a; Rules
for Election of Directors, b; Rule for Electing Professors, c; Plan as Amended by
the Assembly of 1870, d; Substitute for Art. II., Sec. I., of the Plan. 6. Report
Detailing the Origin of the Seminaries, and their Relations to the Assembly, 1870.
2. Auburn. 3. Western Theological Seminary; a, Proposition of the Assembly
Accepted; b, Plan of the Seminary; c, Change of Name Authorized. 4. Lane;
The Assembly's Plan Adopted. 5. Union; a, Proposition to the Assembly; b, The
Proposal Accepted by the Assembly; c, Memorial of the Directors. 6. Danville.
7. North-Western, a; Plan of the Seminary Approved, b. 8. German Theological
School, Newark. 9. German Theological School of the North-West, Dubuque. 10. Lin-
coln University; Oversight of Theological Department Accepted. 11. San Francisco.
12. Blackburn University. 7. Limitation of Time within which the Election of a
Professor may be Vetoed.
8. Candidates must be Members of some Particular Presbyterian Church. 9. Great
Caution prescribed in the Exceptional Cases. 10. Amendment to Rules of the Board
VI. Time of Study of Theology, at least Two Years. 1. a, Efforts to Extend the Term;
b, A Rule Requiring three years, Unconstitutional; c, Overture sent down, but not
Adopted. 2. Full Term of three years urgently Recommended, a, b, c; Licensure