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midst of this abounding waste, and my fev wanting in the administrative that aims of t
All modification of our methods of amuse perilous to be risked; but more is than from a bold amendment Sæd our present degree of eficiency.
nominations, but we are dissatisfied vi life, the vigor, the enterprise theme and in this land.
According to the plan
Assemblies of 1869, the Mos blies of 1869 jointly presided m was chosen. By this arra Fowler, D.D., Moderate f May, 1869, in the Chuva fe having preached the s Jacobus, D.D., LLD. K met in May, 1869. the took the chair, for the pag deciding questions of riz Prayer having been fee J. Trumbull Back Moderator. Also gentlemen were elected t
The Rev. Edwin Tur
Rev. Cyrus Dicks 11
The following F
ave reached us; a few from isters, but chiefly from indiand patiently considered, though om we may have failed to adopt. own convictions, or tended somewhat at d changes so great and radical in the ods, and the Assembly, that we could thought, might better come before your ; while others, though important and salu
lowship of congenial spirits. It was remarkable how a membership of joint committees and of Assemblies convened in the same place removed distrust and substi tuted confidence and affection. The elders and private members of the church were soonest ready for the Reunion, and most unanimous and earnest for it, because, in fact, they frequently met in business and social intercourse and knew each other. Some of the aversion to the Reunion remained among the Old School brethren to the last, though generally these were but little in conference with New School brethren, and, therefore, could not understand them. Opposition to it among the New School brethren was entirely withdrawn, not altogether because they were satisfied with it, but because it was a foregone conclusion, and unanimity was the habit of their body, and they preferred concession to dissent.
Although the New School branch of the church had been generally well disposed towards the Reunion from the first, a change was distinctly manifest, as Dr. Ja cobus has remarked, at the opening of the Assemblies in New York. While no zeal for it had widely prevailed, there was an assent to it as wisest and best in the circumstances of the case, and an acquiescence in the successive projects proposed for it, though these were by no means fully approved and relished. The failure of these projects in the other branch produced a sense of wounded pride and dignity. If not repelled or trifled with, the New School brethren felt that they had not been met with the generosity they had shown, and just self-respect constrained them to put on reserve. All this passed away on the correction of the misappre
bension in which it originated. The earliest proceedings of the Old School Assembly expressed such heartiness for the Reunion that the delay of it in its branch of the church was demonstrated to have been induced by unpropitious circumstances and not by blameworthy con siderations. The tide of feeling in both bodies was thus swollen, and defied all impediments to its flow. The acts and incidents of the session may be recorded, but the spirit of the occasion can never be described. There was the inflamed ardor for the Reunion, and then the solicitude about the speedy practicability of it, when the terms of it came again to be considered and stated, the alternation of hope and fear, the elation and depression, until the intelligence that the Joint Committee to whom the matter was referred had agreed on a "basis." The presentation of the Report and its adoption by the Assemblies turned excitement into ecstacy. None but they who felt it can know the experience of those days, the pressure of soul, — the suspense, the relief when it was known that our prudent men, under the leading of the Spirit, had devised a plan which they believed met the exigency, — the the eagerness with which its public reading was listened to, the seriousness with which it was discussed, the solemnity with which it was voted upon, and the gratification with which it was approved. The Report was carefully considered in both Assemblies, but it cannot be said to have been debated in the New School Assembly. No opposition was made to it there. There was only a difference in the assent given to it, and they who most qualified this were only precautionary. They entered a caveat against a narrow and illiberal spirit and
policy in the reunited church, and against a censorship of "all reasonable liberty in the statement of views and the interpretation of the standards not impairing the integrity of the Calvinistic system," and especially against a disturbance of the ecclesiastical status of any particular individual who had retained a good standing in the New School branch of the church, notwithstanding his peculiarities in minor articles of faith, and his philosophy of doctrines and facts. The sensitiveness on this subject grew out of the intemperateness of speech, amounting to threats, which had been indulged in here and there by Old School brethren disaffected towards the Reunion, and not from zeal for the views in question, or even concurrence in them, and still less because they were presumed to prevail in the New School body. The speeches were simply a notice in advance that the tolerance of immaterial diversities was expected and would be claimed, and that acceptable members of either branch of the church must hold an unquestioned place in the two combined.
All who desired to speak having been satisfied, the voting in the New School Assembly was preceded by silent prayer, and these were deeply impressive moments. The thronged house was motionless and still, as if transfixed and hushed in looking to God. The question was then taken by rising, and every Commissioner stood up in the affirmative! Nothing like tumultuousness succeeded, nor was there the faintest applause, and yet the joy was rapturous. Thanksgiving and praise were the universal impulse, and the venerable Dr. Thomas H. Skinner most fittingly led in this act. A hymn was then sung. With thrilling force the
grand old words of that inspiring song rolled upward from that vast Assembly of strong, earnest, resolute Christian men, standing there in a solid body
"Let Zion and her sons rejoice,
Behold the promised hour;
Her God hath heard her mourning voice,
And comes to exalt his power.
"The Lord will raise Jerusalem,
"This shall be known when we are dead,
That nations yet unborn may read,
The Assemblies met at Pittsburg with a very dif ferent spirit from what prevailed at their opening in New York. All was exhilaration now. The Presbyte ries, it was known, had affirmed the overture submitted to them, and after the reception and announcement of their answers, the proclamation of the Reunion was to be made; and as the Commissioners exchanged greetings their faces beamed with smiles, and they grasped hands closely, and shook them vigorously, and their voices rang out cheerily. On calling the roll in the New School Assembly, the gayety of the hour was subdued by the disappearance from it, through death, of the names of one minister and two elders: the Rev. Frederick R. Gallaher, D.D., of the Presbytery of Coldwater, H. G. Torbett, M.D., of the Presbytery of Utica, and Loring Danforth, of the Presbytery of Buffalo. Reports of Committees on Amusements, on the Bible in Schools, and on State Appropriations to Sectarian Schools,