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mittee, it was ordered, that the first meeting be held in Princeton, Illinois, on the third Thursday of October next, at seven o'clock P. M.; to be opened with a sermon by the Rev. I. Pillsbury; or, in case of his absence, by the oldest minister present, who shall preside until a moderator be chosen.

OVERTURE No. V.-A memorial from a Committee of the Synod of South Carolina, in relation to a correspondence between the Synod of South Carolina and the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, with a view to a closer union between the latter body and the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The Committee recommended to the Assembly

1st. To open a fraternal correspondence with the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, on the same terms as with other evangelical denominations.

2d. That the Assembly appoint a committee to confer with a similar committee to be appointed by that body with reference to a closer union between the two churches.

The report of the committee was accepted, and the overture unanimously adopted, and Rev. Edwin Cater, Rev. Geo. Howe, D.D., and Mr. J. K. Douglass, of South Carolina, and Rev. F. Bowman, D.D., and Rev. N. A. Pratt, of Georgia, were appointed a committee under the recommendation and for the purposes therein set forth.

OVERTURE No. VI.-On an Itinerating Ministry, after a brief discussion, was referred to the Board of Missions, with an earnest injunction that they do what is possible in the premises.

OVERTURE No. VII.- From the Presbytery of Elizabethtown, the papers of a foreign minister, the Rev. John Wirz.

The Committee recommend that these papers be returned to the Presbytery, with the recommendation that Mr. Wirz be received into regular standing, at their proper discretion.

The report was adopted.

OVERTURE No. VIII.-A memorial from the Synod of Mississippi, for the erection of a new Synod within her bounds; with a remonstrance against it, from the Presbytery of Mississippi.

The Committee recommend the refusal of the request in said memorial. Adopted.

OVERTURE No. IX.–From the Presbytery of Cedar, asking the General Assembly to authorize our Church Sessions to keep a reserved roll, upon which shall be entered the names of church members who have removed beyond their bounds without letters, and whose residence is unknown, and who shall not be reported in our statistical reports.

The Committee recommend that this request be granted.

The report was adopted; and it was accordingly ordered, that Sessions be so authorized

OVERTURE No. X.-From sundry members of the Assembly, inquiring whether an ordained minister may accept and exercise the office of ruling elder in a church belonging to the same Presbytery of which he is a member.

At the recommendation of the Committee, this was answered in the negative.

OVERTURE No. XI.-From the Synod of Virginia, proposing that the Assembly mature some plan for changing and reducing the present representation of the Presbyteries in the General Assembly, so as to diminish the aggregate attendance of commissioners, and adjust the ratio upon a more equitable basis.

The Committee recommend, that the Assembly decline action on this subject.

The report was adopted. OVERTURE No. XII.-From a Committee of the Board of Colportage of the Synods of Pittsburg and Alleghany, respecting a greater supply of Sabbath school books by the Board of Publication.

This was answered, on the recommendation of the Committee, by referring the memorialists to the action already taken by this Assembly, in adopting the Report of the Standing Committee on the Board of Publication.

OVERTURE No. XIII.–From the Presbytery of Londonderry, asking a revision of our Book, so as to remove the ambiguity as to the words “church” and “congregation ;” and, second, to define the nature and extent of infant church membership.

The Committee recommended that the following be maintained :

1. That the right to vote for ruling elders is to be confined to the communicating members.

2. That in the election of pastor, members of the congregation may be allowed to vote, and that no church member shall be denied a vote.

3. That a baptized member not a communicant stands in the same relation to the church as a minor in the law, and should not be allowed to vote.

Judge Fine said the proposal to affirm the right of all communicants to vote for a pastor, he thought would meet with acceptance.

Rev. Mr. Cater said the resolution in reference to baptized members of the church involved a most important principle in the controversy with the Baptists. He hoped it would be postponed for another year.

Rev. Mr. Baird said that to adopt a resolution allowing non-communicants to vote, would be to sell the privileges of the Church, and imperil its interests.

Rev. Dr. Junkin said that the very principles of our Church set aside the doctrine of the third point of the Committee. The Church of Scotland, and the Master himself, also recognized infants as members of the Church. He believed the time would come when their relations would be better understood. He moved to postpone, with a view to its being further considered.

It was moved to lay the whole subject on the table. Carried.

OVERTURE No. XIV.-From a member of this Assembly, submitting two inquiries, viz. :

1. In an application to the Moderator of a Presbytery to call a pro re nata meeting of that body, is it competent for the applicants to specify a particular time and place for such meeting?

2. If a particular time or place, or both, be specified in the application for a pro re nata meeting of Presbytery, has the Moderator a right, on such application, to call a meeting at a different time and place?

The first question was answered affirmatively, the second negatively, at the recommendation of the Committee.

OVERTURE No. XV.-From the Presbytery of Stockton, memorializing the Assembly, in consequence of the peculiar difficulty of convening in the Synod of the Pacific, to constitute a new Presbytery in the present bounds of the Presbytery of Stockton, to be called the Presbytery of Benicia; to consist of the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge, Jr., and the Rev. B. B. Bonham, of the Presbytery of Stockton, and the Rev. James Woods, of the Presbytery of California, ministers, together with the churches of Benicia, and (when organized) Santa Rosa ; the first meeting of the newly-organized Presbytery to be held at Santa Rosa, on the third Tuesday of August, A. D. 1856, to be opened with a sermon by the oldest minister present.

This request was granted.

OVERTURE No. XVI.-- From the Presbytery of Rock River, asking the Assembly to direct the Board of Education to appropriate a legacy of William Hempstead to the Presbyterial Institution at Dixon, Illinois.

The Committee recommended that it be referred to the Board of Education, to act in the case according to their best judgment. Adopted.

OVERTURE No. XVII.- From the Trustees of the Westminster Presbyterian Society, Utica, New York, to direct the Trustees of the General Assembly to alter and amend the deed by which the corporation of the said church holds the title to their lot.

The Committee recommended the following resolution, viz. :'

Resolved, that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, in the United States of America, hereby direct their Trustees to execute a written instrument, whereby they shall decline accepting the Contingent Trust, under the deed made and executed by Hugh S. Dickson, granting to the Trustees of the Westminster Church, in the city of Utica, New York, a lot of ground, on which their church building is erected; and also renouncing all interest that might, under any circumstances, accrue, or be derived from the conditions in said deed inserted.

The report was adopted, and the Trustees are hereby so authorized and directed.

OVERTURE No. XVIII.–From the Presbytery of South Carolina, asking the Assembly to devise arrangements with other Christian denominations, so as to secure the attendance of witpesses, in process for discipline.

The Committee recommended that no action be taken on this overture by this Assembly. Adopted.

OVERTURE No. XIX.-From several members, ministers, in this Assembly, asking for the erection of a new Presbytery, to be called « Kansas.”

Upon the recommendation of the Committee, this request was granted, and it was ordered, accordingly, that W. W. Backus, minister, in the Presbytery of Dane, C. D. Martin, in the Presbytery of Kaskaskia, and D. A. Murdock, in the Presbytery of Des Moines, be erected into a Presbytery, to be called the “ Presbytery of Kansas ;” to hold their first meeting at Leavenworth, on the first Tuesday of September next, at 11 o'clock.

OVERTURE No. XX.-From the Presbytery of Donegal, asking the Assembly to take action on the subject of Catechising and Bible instruction of youth.

The Committee recommended that the Presbytery be referred to the action of former Assemblies as sufficient for the present. Adopted.

OVERTURE No. XXI.–From the Central Presbytery of Mississippi,

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respecting the desirableness of greater union among Presbyterians. The Committee recommended the following resolution, viz. :

That the General Assembly entertains a sincere desire for the fraternal union of all sound Presbyterians; and even, if possible, their communion in one denomination; and any who may desire to be united with this Church, and who cordially approve of the doctrine and polity of our standards, are affectionately invited to seek this union in the mode prescribed by our constitution. It was adopted.

Boards of the Church and Benevolent Operations.

BOARD OF DOMESTIC MISSIONS. The Assembly then proceeded to the next order of the day, which was hearing the Report of the Board of Domestic Missions.

Dr. Musgrave, the Corresponding Secretary of the Board, read the Report, of which the following is an abstract:

There has been an increase in the number of missionaries employed during the year; an augmentation of the receipts, both from the churches and in individual donations and legacies; an increase in the aggregate appropriations; a larger average salary paid to our missionaries, and an increase in the balance on hand at the close of the fiscal year. In every department there has been an encouraging progress; calling for thankfulness and praise to God for his unmerited goodness and mercy.

OPERATIONS OF THE YEAR.

Of Missions.- Statistical Details. The number of missionaries in commission, April 1, 1855, was 346, to which have been added, to March 1, 1856 (11 months), 220, making the whole number 566, and more by 41 than the year previous.

The number of churches and missionary stations, wholly or in part supplied (as far as reported) by our missionaries, is 913.

The number of newly organized churches is 42.

The number of admissions on examination is 1832, and on certificate 1836, making a total of admissions of 3668.

The number in communion with churches connected with the Board, is 22,91

The number of Sabbath-schools is 332; of teachers, 2443, and of scholars, 15,887.

The number of baptisms is 2217.

Of the 566 missionaries who have been in commission during the year, 187 have sent in no special report for the Assembly, very nearly one-third of the whole number; consequently we must increase all the returns very nearly onethird, to make them correct.

APPROPRIATIONS. The appropriations made to our missionaries, from April 1, 1855, to March 1, 1856 (11 months), have been, at the office in Philadelphia, $50,103 34, and at the office in Louisville, $32,475 83; making a total of $82,679 17.

Adding the appropriations made during the month of March, 1856, to the above, for the sake of comparison with the other years, the figures would stand thus : Appropriations made from April 1, 1855, to April 1, 1856, at the office in Philadelphia, $51,703 34, and at the office in Louisville, $33,425 83; making & total of $85,129 17.

The appropriations made to our missionaries, from April 1, 1854, to April 1, 1855, were, at the office in Philadelphia, $48,735 42, and at the office in Louisville, $25,759; making a total of $74,494 42.

From this statement it appears that the appropriations made at the office in Philadelphia exceeded those made the year before $2967 92, and at the office in Louisville they were more by $7666 83; thus making the total appropriations this year more than the year preceding by $10,634 75.

RECEIPTS.

The total amount of receipts from all sources, from April 1, 1855, to March 1, 1856 (11 months), is $85,747 73, to which add balances on hand in the different treasuries, April 1, 1855 (less $320 95 withdrawn by Flint River Presbytery), $15,223 34; making the available resources of the Board during the year, $100,971 07.

Adding the receipts at the offices in Philadelphia and Louisville during the month of March, 1856, for the purpose of comparison with other years, the total amount of receipts from April 1, 1855, to April 1, 1856, is $94,848 87; to which add balances on hand in the different treasuries, April 1, 1855, as above, $15,223 34; thus making the available resources of the Board during the year, from April 1, 1855, to April 1, 1856, $110,072 21.

The amount paid out at the different treasuries from April 1, 1855, to March 1, 1856 (11 months), is $79,837 90, leaving an available balance in all the treasuries on the 1st of March, 1856, of $21,133 17. The amount due the missionaries at the same date was $13,226 54; leaving an unexpended balance of $7906 63.

The aggregate receipts from April 1, 1855, to April 1, 1856, have been larger as compared with the receipts from April 1, 1854, to April 1, 1855, $23,014 20. The excess has been in individual or special donations and legacies, $16,958 95, and in the contributions of the churches, $C055 45. The receipts at the office in Philadelphia, including the Presbyterial treasuries, were larger by $14,067 95, and the receipts at the office in Louisville, $8946 45.

The amount due the missionaries at the close of the fiscal year, as previously stated, was $13,226 54, leaving an unexpended balance of $7906 63. The unexpended balance on April 1, 1855, was $5539 70. From this statement it will be observed that the unexpended balance in the treasury on the 1st of March, 1856, is only $2366 93 more than the amount which was reported on the 1st of April, 1855.

REINFORCEMENTS AND ENLARGEMENT OF THE CHURCH.

During the year the Board have established new missions in various sections of our country. Three additional missionaries have been sent to California, two to Wisconsin, and one to Minnesota, and one in addition to those who are already there has been employed in Oregon. We have also sent one to Nebraska, and one to Kansas. Arrangements have likewise been made to send an additional one to Minnesota, and two to Kansas.

Thirty-nine missionaries have been either wholly or almost entirely employed as itinerants.

CLOTHING.

Clothing valued at $7837 14 has been received during the eleven months, from April 1, 1855, to March 1, 1856, and distributed among the missionaries who needed it.

SALARIES OF MISSIONARIES.

During the past year, the Board have increased their average appropriation to the missionaries $11 35.

During the last three years, the Board have increased their average appropriations to the missionaries $41 90, which is a little over 314 per cent. By this ad

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