Page images

assemblies. Superior wisdom exerted superior influence, but no lording it appeared, and voting was a means of ascertaining the judgment and wish of a body, and not the triumph or defeat of contestants. The least possible appearance of authority was exhibited. An attachment thus so bound them together, and a sympathy thus so identified them, that it is not strange that they took the step with moistened eye and trembling limb, which, though it did not part them, added associates to them that might jeopard their fellowship. This foreboding was quickly composed. In private conferences, in committees, in ecclesiastical meetings, there has been no consciousness on either side of any change in the character of former association and intercourse. Every individual has felt perfectly at home in his new relationships. None, indeed, have seemed aware that they were new in the least. If the numbers connected with them have increased, it is not perceived from an abatement of familiarity and freedom.

The Jubilee Convention that followed the dissolution of the Assemblies gave the key-note to the reunited church, and started it on its career. Jubilation and congratulation and thanksgiving were irrepressible, but the sense of duty and its pressure superabounded. Every speaker was burthened by the work to be per formed, and intent on securing faithfulness and effi ciency, and the immense audience, packed into a single body, lifted its shoulders and stretched out its arms to undertake it. "We must dare and do," the one soul throbbed. A million of dollars as a thank-offering will not suffice. It shall be five millions, at least. Enthusiasm proposed the sum to be presented, but the

resolute purpose to raise it seconded the motion and adopted it. Thus setting out with liberality, and committed to enterprise, the reunited church must be destined to large prosperity and rapid and extensive prog ress. Let "achievement" be its motto, with benevo lence as its spirit, and beneficence as its work.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]





What Reconstruction is. -The General Assembly of 1870. - Philadelphia. - Organization. - Incidents. —Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Its Report as modified. - The new Synods and Presbyteries. - Theological Seminaries. Home Missions. - Foreign Missions. -Publication. Sabbath School Literature. - Education.. Selection of Candidates. - Church Erection. -Ministerial Relief. - Work for the Freedmen. Concentration of the Plans of the Church. - Remarks of Dr. John C. Backus. Report on the Finances of the Church. - Committee on Unification. The Southern Church. Popular Education. - Memorial Fund. - Heidelberg Catechism. - Social Reunion. Work of the Assembly well performed. - Satisfaction of the Church. What yet remains to be done.Hopes and Responsibilities. - God's Promise.


[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

UPON the consolidated Church is laid the task of Reconstruction. This includes a new arrangement of Synods and Presbyteries, constitutional and other changes made necessary by combining into one two previously distinct branches, and a fresh adjustment of the agencies hitherto employed by them both for missionary and other Christian efforts. Its full accomplishment will, moreover, add to the power of the Church as an instrument for doing good, it will prune her administration from everything not approved by experience, it will enable her to adapt her plans to the demands of the present and the future, and more fully equip her for the mighty work to which her God now calls her. Such a task may well employ the best

« PreviousContinue »