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the wish of his Presbytery that he should represent them in this Assembly. The Committee recommended no action in the case. The report was adopted.-1877, p. 500.

c. Without commissions, but with satisfactory evidence of having been appointed.-1878, pp. 20 and 29.

d. John G. Kerr, M. D., an elder from the Presbytery of Canton, but without a commission, was enrolled. The facts of the case were referred to a Special Committee, to report the next year. (1885, pp. 587, 588 and 684.) [Dr. Kerr had been, but was not at the time, an acting elder in the Second Church, Canton, having declined that the church might have native elders only.-M.]

III. 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.

[See Digest, pp. 470-474.]

5. The Mileage and Contingent Funds.

a. Special attention is called to the Mileage and Contingent System adopted by the General Assembly of 1870, and amended by the General Assemblies of 1875, 1877 and 1884. As amended it is as follows:

"The Committee to whom it was referred to consider and report a uniform system of mileage, whereby full provision may be made for the traveling expenses of the Commissioners to our General Assemblies, and to meet the contingent expenses of each Assembly, respectfully report:

"It is affirmed, Form of Government, chap. xxii., sec. iii., 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 principle is thus established, that provision should be made for the payment of the traveling expenses of Commissioners to the General Assembly. This provision should be made by the Presbyteries. As far as possible, the feebler Presbyteries should be aided in this matter by the stronger. It appears just and reasonable, and so has been found by experience, that the estimated contingent expenses of each Assembly, and the traveling expenses of the Commissioners in coming to and returning from the Assembly, should be fully met by the apportionment of the whole amount among the several Presbyteries, according to the number of their communicants respectively.

"It is therefore recommended

"1. That the Standing Committee on Mileage, annually appointed, be instructed to present an estimate of the probable amount that will be needed by the next General Assembly, in order to meet their contingent expenses and the traveling expenses of their commissioners, with a statement of the per capita rate, based on the number of communicants, that will be needed to secure the amount.

"2. That the Presbyteries, at their stated meeting next following the adjournment of the General Assembly, apportion the amount required of their churches as they deem best.

"3. That the churches be instructed to pay over their respective apportionments at the stated meeting of their Presbyteries next preceding the

Tuecting of the General Assembly-the whole amount due from the Pres bytery to be forwarded to the Assembly by their commissioners.

"4. That, as early as the fourth day of the sessions of the Assembly, the apportionment of each Presbytery be paid in full, and a bill of the necessary traveling expenses of its commissioners be presented to the Standing Committee on Mileage.-N. B. It is understood that commissioners, both in coming to and returning from the Assembly, will avail themselves of any commutation of fares that may be offered in season; and that in other cases they are to take, when practicable, the most economical route, no allowance to be made for extra accommodations on the way. Also, that no one will charge for return expenses unless he intends to go back to his field of labor; and that no one on a business tour, or excursion of pleasure, will make a convenience of the meeting of the Assembly and expect payment of his traveling expenses from the mileage fund. Also, that commissioners, as soon after their arrival as practicable, are to report themselves to the Committee of Arrangements, and have their respective places of abode assigned them.

"5. That the Mileage Committee, after appropriating from the whole sum an amount sufficient to meet the estimated contingent expenses of the Assembly, be instructed to audit these bills and pay them pro rata (if found in accordance with the preceding regulations), as far as the funds will permit.

"6. That, in order to avail themselves of the proceeds of this fund, the Presbyteries must contribute their full proportion to it according to the per capita rate.

"7. That every minister and every vacant church contributing to this fund, connected with the Presbyteries thus complying with the provisions of this plan, be entitled to a copy of the annual minutes of the General Assembly.

"8. That the commissioners from Presbyteries in foreign lands receive their necessary traveling expenses, pro rata, from their place of residence in this country."

In accordance with this system, every Presbytery is requested to pay in full, next year, to the stated clerk of the General Assembly, a sum equal to four cents for mileage, and one and one-half cents for contingent expenses, or in all five and one-half cents for every communicant under the care of their churches, as determined by their statistical report herewith printed. This will entitle their commissioners to a full share in the apportionment for necessary traveling_expenses. It is expected that these expenses will be fully met, if the Presbyteries comply with the recommendations of the Assembly.

They are expected, also, to provide for an

b. Entertainment Fund.

In addition to the mileage fund, the Assembly of 1877 made provision for a "Supplemental Contingent Expense Fund," to "be used for the purpose of meeting the expense of entertaining such commissioners as are not otherwise provided for." Each Presbytery is requested to contribute to this fund a sum equal at least to one and one-half cents per church member, and to forward it, with the mileage fund, to the stated clerk of the Assembly. It is to be disbursed by the Committee of Arrangements, whose bills for entertainment the stated clerk, as treasurer, is authorized to pay, after they have been approved by an Auditing Committee.

See, also, Minutes of 1883, pp. 652, 653.-1885, pp. 832, 833.

6. None of the Church Judicatories have Power to Assess a Tax upon the Churches.

The Committee on Reduced Representation, to whom were referred certain resolutions in reference to the mileage and contingent funds of the General Assembly, reported as follows:

In the judgment of the Committee, the position taken in the resolutions is the constitutional one. None of our church courts are clothed with the power to assess a tax upon the churches. Apportionments to meet the expenses of the several bodies may be made; but the payment depends upon that voluntary liberality which flows from the enlightened consciences of the people, who may be confidently relied upon to return whatever is necessary for the conduct of our ecclesiastical business. The Committee regret while they appreciate the state of affairs which has led so many Presbyteries to announce their conditional purpose hereafter to withhold their proportion from the mileage fund of this body. That fund has done. so much to secure the representation of all parts of the denomination in its supreme court, that it would be a calamity to have it destroyed. The Committee express the hope that the current year will end the embarrassment which now surrounds the fund, and has led to the purposed withdrawal of Presbyterial aid; and that, this removed, the Presbyteries will continue to receive from their churches, and forward to the treasurer of the General Assembly, the full amount of the per capita communicant apportionment.

Under the influence of this view of the subject, the Committee report back the resolutions referred to them, and recommend the Assembly to adopt them as follows:

Whereas, Our Form of Government, chap. xxii., sec. ii., makes it proper for each Presbytery to pay the expenses of their own commissioners in their attendance upon the General Assembly: if any Presbytery shall choose to do so, the Assembly cannot require them to contribute tc the general fund. Nevertheless, it is hereby

Resolved, 1. That each Presbytery is hereby earnestly requested to contribute annually its full proportion for the commissioners and contingent funds of the General Assembly.

Resolved, 2. That any law or resolution or action of previous Assemblies, contrary to or inconsistent with the above declaration and resolutions, be, and the same hereby is repealed.

The report was adopted.-1878, pp. 67, 68.

7. Contingent Fund Provided for.

Resolved, That the apportionment for the ensuing year of the present per capita rate of apportionment shall be four cents for mileage, one and one-half cents for contingent, and one and one-half cents for entertainment expenses.-1884, p. 84.









To the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America:

The Committee on the Revision of the Book of Discipline respectfully report:

In presenting this, their final report, they deem it proper to give an account of the circumstances of their appointment, and of the work performed by them. As the reports to the Assemblies of 1880 and 1881 contain a complete history of the Committee up to the periods indicated, the first part of this report will be mainly extracted therefrom.

They were appointed by the Assembly of 1878, under the recommendation of the Committee on the Polity of the Church. The minute is as follows (Minutes of 1878, p. 70):

"They reported, further, Overtures 19, 20 and 21: The first, from the Synod of New Jersey, in regard to the Revision of the Book of Discipline. The second, from the Presbytery of Dayton, asking that the Form of Government be so amended as to make provision for judicial commissions. The third, from Rev. Joseph S. Van Dyke, a member of the Assembly, praying that the Book of Discipline be so changed that certain judicial cases terminate in the judicatory immediately above the court of original jurisdiction.

"The Committee recommend the following:

"That, without expressing any opinion on the particular changes proposed in the overtures, a committee, consisting of six ministers and five elders, be appointed by this Assembly to consider whether any changes, amendments or additions should be made in our present Form of Govern

ment and Book of Discipline, and, if so, what; and that said Committee report to the next Assembly.'

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A fourth overture was subsequently referred to this Committee on the subject of providing "in our Form of Government for the election of an adsessor (or Vice-Moderator)." (Minutes of 1878, pp. 101, 102.)

The Committee, as finally constituted, consists of the following-named


Ministers-Elijah R. Craven, D. D., Edwin F. Hatfield, D. D., Alexander T. McGill, Ď. D., LL.D., William E. Moore, D. D., Nathaniel West, D. D., Robert W. Patterson, D. D., Francis L. Patton, D. D., LL.D. Elders-Hon. William Strong, LL.D., Hon. Joseph Allison, LL.D., Hon. Samuel M. Breckenridge, LL.D., Hon. Samuel M. Moore, LL.D., Hon. John T. Nixon, LL.D.

Your Committee reported progress to the Assembly of 1879, stating that they had held three meetings of the General Committee-two in the city of New York, and one in the city of Pittsburgh. (Minutes of 1879, p. 550.) In that report they asked instructions, should they be continued, in the following words (Minutes of 1879, p. 551):

"Although the language of the resolution under which they were appointed seemed to refer the entire subject of a revision of the Form of Government, they were in doubt as to the extent of their powers, as intended by the Assembly. Should they be continued, they ask instructions on this point."

The minute immediately following the report is as follows (Minutes of 1879, p. 551):

"The report was accepted, and the Committee were continued, to perform their work as instructed by the last Assembly."

At the Assembly of 1879, five additional overtures were referred to this Committee, viz.: One inquiring, "What is the proper course to be pursued with church members who abstain from the Lord's table, etc.?" (Minutes, p. 575); two on the demission of the ministry, "commended to their favorable attention" (Minutes, p. 612); and two on the subject of Presbyteries sitting with closed doors during the trial of ministers or ruling elders (Minutes, p. 615).

At the Assembly of 1880, your Committee again reported progress, and a brief minority report was also presented by the Rev. Dr. West. After the acceptance of these reports, the following resolutions were adopted (Minutes of 1880, p. 36):

"Resolved, That the report on the revision of the Form of Government and Book of Discipline be recommitted, and that the Committee be directed to complete their work, and report to the next Assembly.

"Resolved, That a printed copy of the Revised Book of Discipline, submitted by the Committee, be sent to every minister and church Session." Four additional papers were referred to your Committee by this Assembly, viz.: 1. A petition from the Session of the church of New Providence, Tenn., asking that provision be made for an amendment of the Book of Discipline, chap. ii., sec. xiii., in reference to taking the testimony of witnesses in judicial cases (Minutes of 1880, p. 43). 2. An overture from the Presbytery of Troy, asking the Assembly to approve the action of the Old School Assembly of 1843, defining the rule (Form of Government, chap. x., sec. vii.) as to what constitutes a quorum of Presbytery (p. 46). 3. An overture relative to the neglect of duty by church members (p. 84). 4. An overture on the demission of the ministry (p. 84).

At the Assembly of 1881, your Committee again reported progress, and another minority report was presented by the Rev. Dr. West. The follow

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