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longer favoring even the vestiges of the plan of union for any future churches; that it is not strenuous as to the support of voluntary societies; that it is separated in all church action from Congregationalism; that many of its more extreme men have willingly gone into other church connections; that certain objectionable forms of doctrine and of practice are no more taught in its pulpits and seminaries; that it, in short, has be come a homogeneous body, on the basis of the standards of the Presbyterian Church; and that, especially in case of reunion, all these tendencies will be accelerated and carried to their completion."
Now, this declaration and a thousand others, to the same general effect, the Old School Church, after long doubt, indeed, yet at length, confidently received and believed. It consented to reunion, in the end gladly and warmly consented, because authoritatively as
sured that the New School Church was as orthodox as the Old. May its confidence never be shaken: then, for this reunion, glory shall be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, forever!
HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE CHURCH (NEW SCHOOL BRANCH).
BY THE REV. JONATHAN F. STEARNS, D.D.
Sources of Presbyterian History. The Separation not Anticipated. PERIOD OF DEPRESSION.-Policy of Absorption.- Hope of Reunion. - Unsectarian Spirit.-Missionary Churches.- Changes in the Form of Government. Preparation for Growth.— Contributions.- Gradual Consolidation. PERIOD OF REVIVAL. - Assembly at Cincinnati in 1847.- Plan of Church Extension. Assembly at Washington in 1852.- New arrangement for Home Missions, Education, and Publication.-Work required of Presbyteries and Synods. - Presbyterian Quarterly Review. - Relations with the Congregationalists.- Conflict with the Home Missionary Society. PERMANENT COMMITTEE ON CHURCH EXTENSION.- The "Declaration of Principles." Assembly at Wilmington.- Assembly at Pittsburg in 1860.Separation from the Home Missionary Society.-Agreement with the A. B. C. F. M. in 1859. THE QUESTION OF SLAVERY.-Testimony against the system, with care not to do injustice to those involved in it. The Detroit Resolution.- Action at Cleveland. - Withdrawal of the Southern Synods. PERIOD OF PROSPERITY AND PROGRESS.- Unity and Unanimity. Loyalty in the War.- Home Missions. - Church Erection. — Education.- Publication. - Presbyterian House.-Foreign Missions. - Periodical Literature. Colleges. Theological Seminaries. -Position towards Reunion. Doctrinal Position. The Future.
It is provided by the "concurrent Declarations" that "the official records of the two branches of the church for the period of the separation should be preserved and held as making up the one history of the church." Those documents are now the property of the united body, and will, no doubt, be made the subject of careful investigation by its future historians. They contain a portion of Presbyterian history of equal value to both the classes of which the united body is composed. We are henceforth to have but one interest; and whatever good has been accomplished by one class will be a (50)
matter of satisfaction, and whatever evil incurred, of regret, to the other. Both results must be accepted and acknowledged as the achievements or failures of Amer ican Presbyterians.
In preparing this sketch, the guiding principle must be that of truth impartially stated. Yet, if separate sketches are to be given, the writer of either will stand somewhat in the position of an advocate, and must not be held as violating the wholesome rule, "to study the things that make for peace, and to guard against all needless and offensive references to the causes that have divided us," if, on some critical points he states the case of his clients from their own point of view, though, to the other party, it may have a different aspect. It is to be hoped, however, there will be very little even of the appearance of partisanship.
It will be readily granted by those who have studied the history, that the New School party in the old Presbyterian church did not desire the separation. Their feelings were against it; their interest was manifestly against it; they had no points to carry which, in their estimation, were likely to be subserved by it; their ac tion, up to the last moment, was directed with a view to its prevention. When it took place, it found them totally unprepared for the exigency. They had no plans concocted for separate action, no policy adapted to the new condition in which they found themselves.
If such was the case with the act itself, still more was it with the manner of doing it. The cutting off of the four synods, on the principles which were held to justify it, seemed to them so arbitrary and undiscrimi nating a measure, that they had not supposed it would