« PreviousContinue »
was graduated at the Miami University, in 1830, and licensed by the Cincinnati Presbytery, in 1833. In 1836, he became pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, and retained that relation for twelve years. In 1848, he purchased the Watchman of the Valley, a religious journal published in Cincinnati, and immediately began to exert a wide influence in the forma tion of those opinions which resulted in the full organization of a system of committees to carry forward the distinctive work of the church. This paper, under the present title of the Central Christian Herald, was one of the earliest and steadiest advocates of Reunion.
The principal labor of Dr. Mills in the service of the Church, however, commenced in 1853, when he was elected Secretary and General Agent of the Church Erection Committee. On the completion of the fund of $100,000, which was raised by his energetic advocacy, he accepted a call to the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. But from this post he was removed in 1856, at the urgent demand of the Church at 'large, to enter upon the duties of General Secretary of the Assembly's Committee on Education, then just organized. These duties he performed with great efficiency until his decease, June, 1867.
A consummate organizer, a powerful advocate, a man of wide views and of tenacious purposes, undaunted by obstacles, unshrinking from work, a thoroughly genuine man,his influences were by no means confined to the sphere in which he officially moved. Ardently lov ing his denomination, brought into constant contact with its leading minds, he touched all the springs of ecclesiastical life, and forwarded all the measures of eccle
siastical progress. His record is so interwoven with the history of the Church during the past fifteen years, that one can trace it in all the chapters of that history.
Our space in this book is already more than full, and our regret that the sketches we have attempted are so meagre, is scarcely less than our regret that we have no room for extended reference to some of the honored laymen who have contributed in no slight degree to the growth and prosperity of the Church which has now so gladly dropped its New School title. Such men as FREDERICK STARR, Esq., and Judge WM. JESSUP, have accomplished what no clergyman could effect. The names of these two, at least, shall stand in this chapter to remind the reader of virtues and services which a volume only could fitly commemorate.
BY THE REV. WILLIAM ADAMS,
Prognostics of Reunion.-Practical Co-operation of both branches in benevolent work. Causes of Separation removed.- Interchange of Delegates between the two Assemblies.— Informal Convention at Newark, 1864.— Dr. H. B. Smith's Sermon at Dayton. - The Two Assemblies at St. Louis, 1866.- Reunion Committee of Thirty.- Drs. Brainerd and Krebs.— Meetings and Progress of the Committee. The Report presented to the two Assemblies.- Haste avoided and time given for deliberation.- Terms of Reunion.- Presbyterian National Union Convention.- Important addition to the terms of Subscription.- Other Conventions.- Meeting of the Joint Committee in Philadelphia.- The Gurley Amendment.- Solemn and Affecting Interview.-The Amendment unanimously adopted in Committee. Report of the Committee on Reunion, 1868.- Its Adoption in the Old School Assembly.-Protest and Answer.- Adoption of the Report in the New School Assembly. The way prepared for final action. The Standards pure and simple.—Assemblies in New York, 1869.— Committee of Conference. Its Report adopted and sent to the Presbyteries.- God's Providence manifested in the entire history of the Reunion.
THE greatest events are generally foreshadowed by many signs and tokens. Spring and summer have many harbingers. Changes of opinion in Church and State are brought about by insensible degrees. The large blocks of ice detached from polar masses, are gradually dissolved in the warmer currents by which they are borne to the south.
To attentive observers, it was very evident for several years before formal negotiations were inaugurated, that the Reunion of the two branches of the Presbyterian Church was merely a question of time and mode. The grounds of this expectation were obvious.