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Extracts from the minutes of West Lexington Presbytery : to which is added a narrative of the state of religion within the bounds of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... also A pastoral letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... to the churches under their care.
Extracts from the minutes of West Lexington Presbytery : to which is added a narrative of the state of religion within the bounds of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... also A pastoral letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... to the churches under their care. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of West Lexington. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-77-27211862 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Extracts from the minutes of West Lexington Presbytery : to which is added a narrative of the state of religion within the bounds of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... also A pastoral letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church ... to the churches under their care. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of West Lexington. John R. & Abraham I. Lyle, printers, Paris, Ky. : 1817. 24 p. ; 24 cm. Coleman Photocopy. "Published by order of Presbytery." Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02817.06 KUK) Printing Master B92-77. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of West Lexington. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Membership. EXTRACTS FROM MINUTES WEST LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY PRESBYTERY This page in the original text is blank. 1EXThACTS FROM THE MINUTE S OF WEST LEXINGTON PRESBYTERY. TO WHICH IS ADDED A NARRATIVE tAe 2tate of REmLrrom, -within the bounds of the general ls5m m10Y, of Me Presbyterian church in the United States of dmnerica; and -of the General Issociations of Con- .7Wcticut, of New Jlfmpshire and Massachusetts proper. ALSO A PASTORAL LETTER From the General .lssembly of the P'resbyteriatz ChAurch, in the United states of .1merica, to the chuarc/es under their care. PARIS KY. PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF PRESBYTERY Joii .. C .1!i'rahanz I Ly.e pritet7. 1817 This page in the original text is blank. THrE ORDER OF PRESBYTERY -4 Presbytery viewing it of prime importance to the wect. fare of the churches under our care, that the members of the several congregations,-should feel themselves interested in that branch of the church to which they belong, by being acquainted with the proceedings of the presbytery under the care of which they live On motion resolved, that cx- tracts from the minutes of Presbytery of the last year bc published, and that MIessrs Lyle, Martin, Moreland, and Mitchel, be a committee to make such extracts and prepare them for the press and superintend their publicatioti; and the expence to be paid out of the Presbytery's fund." BZENDS AM DntT1tu!Sr WE the members of the Comnit tee appoiniteJl by Presbytery. judge it most Coniormablc to the raind or Presbytery, -i; the order under which we now act, and most for the benefit of the members of the several congre- gations to notice particulars only of general concern to tho Churches. But before we enter on the business we would mention some things with which some of our members may not be so well acquainted as could be wished. 'The government of our church is representative. Every member therefore enjoys the same privelige in the government ofthe church which a voter does in the civil government of our country. Ac-ording to aol form of government cvery congregation elects its own pastor, and the members of every church elect ruling elders. who with the pastor represent tlecni. and act for them in the several judicatories of the church. The elders or representatiives of the nmembers of any par. ticular church together with the pastor who is their chair- man or moderator constittite a church session; and are competent to the spiritual government of that particular church; but from the decisions of this court there is an appeal to the Presbytery in the bounds of which such church is situated. The Presbytery meet statedly tAvice every year, generally in April and October, and soluctimlies in case of urgent or important business have intermediate sessions. In these meetings all the ordained ministers, and certain elders elected by the sessions, to represeni theoa and the members of the respective congregations. being constituted with prayer, eno'uirc into the state of religion in the bounds of the Presby;tery, receive supplications for supplies, or calls for the labours of ministers belongitg to their body, and grant supplics to vacancis, issue refere nces and appeals from the sessions, enquire into the discharge of reciprocal duties ot ministers and peuple, examine can- did ates for the ministry, licence men to preach, and ordain them to the holy office of the gospel ministry and do what- ever else may be deemed nescessary for the spiritual wel- fare of the churches under their care. A full account of thes.e things and those which respect the synod and gen- eral assenmbly of our church, you will find in the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian church at- tached to the confession of faith of Sd churchi witn which we earnestly wish the members of our church to make themselves acquainted. W\e begin with the meeting of Presbytery at Hopewell April the 9. 18 i 6. In this sessi- on nothing besides the reciprocal duties and appointments of ministerial labours transpired, except the dismission of M4r. Crow, and an inquiry respecting the concert of prayer. It Mr. Crow a licentiate petitioncd to be dismissed from the care of this Presbytcry, to put himself under the care of Louisville Presbytery. The prayer of iwhich petition vas granted and lie is hereby dismissed and recommended 1o that Presbytery as a licentiate in good stan ding." An enquiry was made at the ministers whether theyhad attended to the concert of prayer. "On enquiry it appear- el that the members had generally attcndecl to the concert of prayer recommnencicc by the Gen. Absembly. At the next stated session, Pres. having met at WValnut Hill and adjourned to ILcindgton to be present at the fornia- tion of the Kentucky Auxiliary Bible Society, Mr Wallace a licentiate of the Kentucky Presbytery was taken nnder the care ofthe Presbytery ot \cst Ilexington. " A letter from Mr. William XVallace,a licentiate of the Kentucky Pres. belongin- to the Associate reformed Synod, was read, requesting to by tak en into couixcsion with vur Lilurch) ancd (5. to be put under our care. Mr Wallace being introduced, and Presbytery having conversed with him, on his reasons for wishing to join us, and being satisfied that he stands un- impeached in his own church, agreed to regive him as a licentiate under our care; advising him, at the same time to apply for a dismission from his Pres. and to report, if practicable, to us at our next meeting." An intermediate meeting of Pres. was held, in Paris, the last week of December 1816. This meeting, in which, much time was spent and much uneasiness of mind ex- perienced, was occasioned by one of the Church sessiona under our care not attending to the forms of process, in suspending one of their members. We mention this swith a particular view to the benefit of Church sessions, hcpinG that they will be careful to proceed, in all their adjudica. tions, according to the directions given in thc book of dis- cipline of our Church. In -the sessions of Presbytery of April -ti, 1817, we no. tice the following particulars judging them to be of gen- eral interest, viz. the death of the Rev. Sam ucl Rannells. An addition to the committee to exaniine the credentials ofstrange ministers.-Acommitte to write to the Chur- ches respecting forwardng calls for their ministers-An or- der for Catechetical instruction, and the formation of Bi- ble classes Bible associations-And an order for tho ordination of Mr.Edgar. The Presbytery thus noticed the death of Mr. Rennells; when mentoning theirabsent members: " Absent the Rev. -Samuel Rannells whom God in the dispensations of his adorable providence has been pleased to remove from u: by death March 24th. 1817. " "On motion resolved that Mcssrs.Cunningham an4 Burrows be added to the standing committee, whose duty i. is to examine the credentials of strange ininisters, who ma,7 come within our bounds." N. B. The committee think that the pastors oftthe sev- eral congregations and the elders in vacant congregations, should examine the testinionia.'s oft ravelliir prachers, VhO may bC unknown to thern befire cthey by A-2 (6.) permtted to preach ii their bounds: as manr Impositton! have been practised in this wrestern country. " The corr.mittee appointed to write to the Churches respecting written suplications or calls for those ministers that labour among them, as directed in the minutes of our last meeting, having failed to comply with their duty, are continued, and ordered to take the earliest oppori ullity of addressing on that subject, the congregations of Cherry Spring, Woodford, Susar Ridge, Leba.on, Salem, C ne- RIdge, Point Picasant, Mo unt Pleasant dnd I ndian Creck. We believc it to be the mind of Presbytery, that not thosc Churches only that are named abive; but that all the Churches wvithin their.boun6s in a similar situation (with- out settled ministers ) should attend to the design of Pres- bytery in the above minute. " On motion Resolved that it be recommended that Cat- echetical exercises be attended to in our vacancies under thc care of the eldership, and also that Bib!e classes be formed both in the vacancies and in the congregations that may be supplied with pastors. " BIBLE ASSOCIATIONS, Whereas the important trust of supplying the wholc western countzy with bibles, has, in the course of proi i- dence devolved upon the Ky Auxiliary Bible Society, a; d whereas the society by their solicitor has laid before Pre-d bytevy the great necessity of a unifoim co-operation, and a joint effort in raising funds and distributing the scriptures; Therefore resolved that it be enjoined and it is hereby en- joined that a bible association be fornied in each vacant congregation under our ca-e ; and it is especially enjoi- ned on ever'- member of this Presbytery to for in at least one association in his ncighbourhood, and also to use his influence to procure subscribers to twe Ky. 4uxil iary Bi- ble Society, and by every possiible way, promote the inte- rest oftue institution ; and also that the chutich sessions maketheir attention to this matter a patrt tf thciP 5essio' iat repoxt to Prcsbytey. (7.3 2Mr. John T. Edgar a licentiate of the presbytcr of New Brunswick contemplatinpg a settlement at I;emins, burgh, the Presbytery resolved to meet at Flemiiti church in order to proceed to his ordination and settlement in that place. Mr. Edirar was appointed to preach a scrmon oti Rev. 17, 14. Thc Rev. John R. Mforeland was ap- pointed to preach the ordination sermon, Rev Robert Wilson, to preside and give the charge to Mr. Edgar, awnl the Rev. Joseph P. Howe, to give the charge to the pct;. ple. Fleming Church June. 10. 1817. Presbytery mec agreeably to appointment was con- stituted with prayer. M . Edgar lhaving been received as a licentiate under the care of iPresbytery, A call from the united congregations of Fleming and Smyrna for his ministerial labours, was laid before presbytery and bcing approved was presented to him fur his acceptanre which be accepted. 'Mr. Edgar delive il a discourbe on the tesxt which had been assigned him at the last stateec meet- ing of Presbstery; atd the discourse was unanimously sustained as a part of trial. Presbytery their proceeded to examim.e Mtr. Edgar on experimental religion,the Greek and Hebrew Lenguage-, Philosophy. Theology, Ecclesias- tical history. and church government and discipline; and were unanimously agreed to sustain the examiiation as a part of trial. Mr. Moreland, who had been appointed to preach thc orlination sermon being absent, an appropriate (liscourse was delivered by Mr. Lyle onl 2 Tim. 4, 5. "M6.Aukefult firoof of thly mini.try. Pr esbytery having obtained satisfactory evidcnce of the qualifications of M1r John T. Edgar for the holy office of the gorpel ministery agreed to ptoceed in his ordination. Mr. Wilson, who had been previously appointed to pre- side and give the cl-arge, proceeded to put the questions as directed in our formn ot government; and they being answered in the affirmative by Mr. Edgar; and likewise the people having answetred the qucstions put to t.iem as 4iructed in the form of guyernment of our church in thi (S. ) a1Thrmative; Presbytery proceeded and by the laying on of hands and solemn prayer Mr. Edgar w'a; set a part to the holy office of the gospel ministry; and at the same time installed as the stated Pastor of the united congregations of Fleni ng and Smrvrna. A solemn charge having been delivered to the newly ordained Bishop by Mr. Wilson; and likewise a charge having been given to the people by Mr. Howe the whole was concluded with prayer. Mr. Edgar was invited to take his seat as a member of Presby- tery and he took his seat accordingly. The next stated meeting of Presbytery will be at Paris on the first thursday in October next, to which time and place Presbytery adjourned at-the close of their last spring session, JOHN LYLE WILLIAM WV. MARTIN JOHN R. MORELAND Beloved Brethren, Prompted by an ardent desire for your spiritual welfare we would now address you affection- ately on things which belong to your everlasting peace, but intending to subjoin the narritave of the state of religion in the bounds of the Gen. Assembly together with their pastoral letter to the Churches under their care, we com. mend you to God and the word of his grace, praying God to bless you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, to whom be honour and glory for ever ai.d ver. Ano.ena J NARRATIVE Sf the '-. Cf RE LGrON, within the bounds of the ('en. sral A.ssevbly, of the Prisbytcrian Church in the United Stcates of.lrm:rica, and of the GCneral ss8oCiCtioni of Connecticut of A'ew Hampshiire, anz1 of 3fas8aCschuaeM4 f rols er. E vBRY thing which relates to the Redeemer's king. dom is important to the world and of peculiar interest to the people of God. The Gencral Assembly, therfore, fcc! a pleasure in presenting to the churches, - under their care, a summary of the state of religion within their bounds, du- ring the past year. In entering on this duty, they cannot cnnceal their grief that, in many parts of our wvide extended country, there are many vices still prevalent, such as profaneness, intemper- ance, Sabath-breaking and gambling; vices these, whiclh always will be, whilstthey continue, a cause of just com- plaint, and of deep regret. In many instances, however, a check has been give to these degrading and sinful practi- ces,by the salutary operation of moral societies. Socie- ties of this character, if instituted on proper ,principles and conducted with suitable prudence, promise to be very usc- ful in laying, at least, an outward restraint upon thC distur- bers of the peace and order of society. In some instances too, we learn, with feelings of the greatest conccrn, that the walk and conversation even of professors, are not such as becometh the gospel of Christ. They are cold and formal in their demeanor, and in tlhcir conduct conform to the vain customs of the world. Alas! they seem to have forgotten the solemnity ot that transac- tion, when they laid their vows before the altar of God, and avoucieicl the Lord Jehovah to be their God. Tae Gcin. eral Assembly feel it to be their duty, tenderly, L)ut faith- fiully, to warn such of thc danger of their condition, and the, pernicious influence of their example, and earnestly to exc- hort them to strengthen the thing-s thaL remain wli.ich arc ready to die. Fidelity to the churches requires that these subjects of grief should be presented to their view; yet it is not to bc understood that the evils complained of, are more preva- lent than heretofore; There is, indeed, abundant reason to believe they are Lnot Tue gencral aspect of the church of (10.) God has never been more favourable within our knowleiga than at the present time, The age in which we live is to be characterised as the age of christian charity. Numer- ous associations are formed, which have for their object the alleviation of human misery: associations, by the effiorts of which, the widow's heart is made glad, the or- phan's tears are wiped away, and poverty is relieved in its cottage of sorrow. Nor has benevolence limited her ex- ertions by the temporal necessities of mankind. A higher object has claimed her attention, and received it. The spiritual interests of the poor and the ignorant, have been considered, with a solicitude and pronptness, unparalleled in the history of the world.. In very many of our cities and populous villages, Sab- bath Schools have been instituted for children and adults, in which thousands are taught to read the word of God, and are instructed in the principles of ieligion. They are led also to the sanctuary ofthe Lord by their teachers, and thus enjoy the benefit of that gospel which, otherwise perhaps, multitudes of them had never heard. Connected here- withs we would likewlse note the instruction of the young and ignorant by catechising, and the institution of Bible classes, in most of our congregations; for these form a striking feature of the day. God has blessed these efforts and Zion hath rhultiplied her children. Religious Tract Societies are increasing, both in number and exertions, to the manifest advantage of truth, and pie- ty. Missionary societies also claim fromn the General Ass- cmbly a distinguished notice-aided by those consecrated treasures, which have been placed at the disposal of these associations, the gospel has been faithfilly and successfully preached through a wide extent of country.-It is with emotions ofjoy which cannot be expressed that we have heard of the Zeal, the patience, and the intrepidity of those heralds of the cross, who, in the true spirit of their miss. ionary character, have penetrated far into the wilderness and have proclaimed salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, where the gospel before had scarcely ever heard. (11.) NeveT, never before have suich narratives been presented to the Assembly ; so interesting in their detail so cheer- ing in their aspect. In more places than one, the spirit of the Lord has shed down his holy influences on their labours; so that many precious souls, throughi their instrumentality, it is humbly hoped, have passed from death unto life, and are enrolled amongst the friends of Jesus. It is a pleasure too of no ordinary kind, to be able to state that the missionary spirit is increaseing both among preachers' and people; and many young men, entering the rninisiry are not intimidated by the exertions and privations of a missionary life; they are ready to spend, and be spcrt, in that blessed cause whict) contains in itself a character of infinite iaiportancc; " Enough to fill an Angel's hands) It filled the Saviour's heart." In the establishment of Bible Societies there has beez, the mort extensive combination. Within the hallowed circle of their operation, all denominations of Christians have met. And the past year will be remembered, by future generations, for an expression of attachment to tile sacred volume, by the increase of these Societies before unknown. And here, it ought Iot to be concealed, that the establishment of the AmNERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY has been a principal mean of giving this impulse to public sen- timent. Thete is a grandeur in its character, vhich comn. mands respect-and an influence in its extension, which must be felt. Among the patrons of these charities which we have re- corded, and who merit the gratitude of the church, the General Asscnmbly recognize the unceasing efforts and liberality of iours Females-their bcnevolcnce has flowed in various channels, and their zeal will be longr held as a precious memorial ofthleir virtue and and their piety. 'I'he Cent Societies are peculiarly their owt.n, by whibh sixteen young men have been supported the last ycar in whole or in part at the Assmrbly's Secninary at PCi:';i, Co o., (12.) e '8!ters In Zion, and ye moohers in Israel, until the earif, ehall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord ! The monthly concert for special prayer has been almost tunivcrsally attended; and herein a union of sentiment and desire, has been expressed by our churches, which affords the brightest prospects to the Redeemer's kingdom. In- deed, Zion has been evidently extending the curtains of her habitation. She hath lengthened her cords, an-d strengthened her stakes. The number of her branches has been increased, and her members been multiplied. Until now. we have never known such bright displays of sovereign grace, nor marked so distinctly, the triumphs of the cross of Christ God bath indeed been seen, in the operations of his Spirit, to have dwelt with man upon the earth. It is the Lord's doing and it is marvll-us in our eyes. From the particular accounts which the Assembly have received, from the presbyteries under their care, they feel a high satisfaction in learning the measure of minizterial faithfulness, with which the pastors of the churches have generally discharged the arduous duties of their station. The labours of many of them have been particularly bless- cd by the Great head of his church, who, when he ascen- ded up on high, received gifts for men. Sorre have been honourably employed in building up the saints in the fiith and order of the Gospel, whilst others have been permit- ed to witness among their people the powerful influences of converting. grace, and have seen sinners flocking to Je- sus, like clouds aud like doics to their windows. Thlis will be abundantly evident by recording some of the won- ders which God hath wrought. And here, the Assembly would particularly mention, the Preshyteries of .'orthun. 6cr/and, Champlain, Grand River, C'ayuga, Ono ndaga Geneva, columbia, and Jersey, as greatly distuinguis! ed by the glorious manifestations of divine mercy, to some of the congregations within their boundls. Xorthumberland Presbqtery, the Congregation of Sh. rnokiin has been gra- ciously visited with an outpouring of the Divine Spii it. And though tVAis b a day of small tlings, niuchi good has (13) already resultcd from this merciful visitation, -rld ive ca4 not but hail it as the token of a brighter scene. In thc Prcebytery of Charndain there have been several revivals of religion, which have gladdenedl the hearts of ministers and christians, diEpersed( through that region. More than an hundred souls in the course of eight months have been made the hopeful subjects of divine grace in the congregation of Malone. In Chatteaugay, Constable, Ban- gor, Moira, and Dickinson, Plattsburgh, Chazee and Lew- is, the power of that Holy Spirit has been felt, by whiich we are convinced of sin, and converted unto God. Grand River Presbytery has experienced the loving kindness of tlic Lord, and received the word of his salva- tion-Ziorn's friends rejoice aiid magnify the riches of his grace. In the congregations of Austinburgh, Morgan and Rome, the work has been powerful and glorious. In Grceoe, Aurora, Lebanon, Jefferson, and Bucksville, the Lord has manifested the power of his gospel. Cayuga Presbytery is among those 14voured portions of our church wtich the Lord hatti blessed indeed. Ithaca' L'ble, S--apronius, Scipio and DaHby, have richly partak- en in the divine influence; but especially, have we to men- tion thle congregation of Lock, as particularly distinguish. ed for those trophies of grace wnich the Lord hath g:tlier_ ed to the honour of his giorious name. In the Prcsbytery ot Oiioiadaga, twe congregations of Homnu., Fai):us, Cizenovia, aticl Ousco, are to be number- ed among the places wnicaa it Iiata delighted the Lord to bless-Here a rich harvest of souls hatli ocen gathered; and the Spirit of Gud hatli decentded, like dew on the new mown g'asls. Geneva Fresbytery also, has bcen remembered with tinws tf refresating froan the prese.ce of fie Lord. 'I hie efusicuns-of divine grace have beeti copious anu extensive; and tUe heavenly iTfluCnce !,as been particularly shed, up- on the congregrations of BNoonkiCiuL, Lyons, Roniulous, Mlv! ihksex, Gorhanm Paliii-ra-Il-uiureds of the wretclhed SIm;er lof ourl racc,. ave ciiurc bctc biought to cry out3 "what musi vc do ao 6b zavtd !" and here have touud that k) (141 5aviour, whome 'blood cleanseth from sin. Similar in- luences, though of a less extent, have been experienced in the congregations of Geneva, Rochester, Buffaloe, wol- cott, Victor, Livonia, and Gamburgh. The results of these revivals, it is impossible for us to estimate-They 'will doubtless be better learnt around the throne of God anid the Lamb, from the songs of the redeemed. The Presbytery of Columbia record in their reports, illustrious mercy and wonderous grace-The Lord hath visited several destitute places within the bounds of the Presbytery with his comforting and reviving influences. The congregations of Cattskill and Cambridge have been blessed of God. But, in the city of Troy, the glory and grace of God has been displayed with peculiar splendor and holy triumph. About 5o0, in the several denomina- tions, are said to have professed the name of Jesus-some of all ages and conditions, from the child of ten to the old man of eighty years, have been made the sul 'ects of divitce mercy. what heart does not exult in stich a work of the Lord, and take part with those Jblessed inteligences of the throne of God, who desire to look into the za ysteries oQf grace, and rejoice when sinners repent. The Presbytery of Jersey speak of wonders of mercy. And scenes of divine and sovreign grace are exhibited in some of their congregations, overwhelming by the gran- dieur of the work, and the extent of the operation. Two congregations in Newark, and the congregations of Ehiza- bethtown and Orange have felt in very deed that the gos- pel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, uito ad who believe. The congregations also, of Connecticut- farms and Bloomfield, have received a copious effusion of the Spirit of God. Multitudes, in this region, have em- braced the Lord Jesus in hope of eternal life. Thb attcn- tion of the people of colour is here said also, to be excited to the great thiigs, of their peace-This Presbytery reckon more than fifteen huidred persons as being eithcr arcply impres.ed with the importance of religion, or eise triiuii- phing in the joys of faith, in the societies lher.c recorded. T'ic Tlealoic4 5.l:inarY At 1Pria ;Cf7t, as kinuly re fIS) uirem.b-redof God, and its inflLuence is most happy. Tlh missionary spirit which is manifbstly increasing iu this in, ittittion, is a subject of pleasing congratulation to all the friends of the Redeemers, kingdom. 1The numiber of stu. dents in this seminary is forty-seven. The Theological Scminary, under the care of the 3ynod of Virginia is also represented in a prosperoue state. The Assembly furthcr notice withl pieasore, the gener, attentinn and exertion to-alleviate the condition of t.'e peu. pie of colour, in-almost all parts of tl)e country-A Society bas been firmed for thc colonization of frce people of this description, and is patronized by the ilrst characters of uur nation. An institution, likewiso, is established under the direc- tion of the Synod of New York and New Jersey, for the edu cation of men of colour for the ministry, and as instruc- tors ofAheir brethren. From the Genmral .Aociation of Connrcrticut we learn, with interest, theat some revivals of religion have taken- place. and the cause of Jesus is advancing. Many happy fruits of past revivals are now enjoyed, and great things arc still doing for Zion in that section of our country. Bbic, Tract, Missionary Socictics are numerous, and useful in their influence; especial'y a S-ciety for the education of young men for the gospel ministry, which promises ninth go.ld. WVe rejoice to learn that, in this State, thci'c is also a seminary established fo; tne education of heather. youth in our own-country, at which there are tivelve of this' description, from different countries. And, aiso, an Ilisti- tution, which hath for its object til cedlucationl of the deaf and dulmb.-Thlis establishmcnt is in successful operatioo., and is supported by the general liberality of the coutitry. In M4a.sachusetes proper, there - have been sonic revivals of interesting character and extent,. The blessed fruits, resulting from the showers of grace which were nientioned in our l;rrative for the last year, will be held in everlasting remembrance by the people of God. The various Sucie- ties which have betai established ia thi5 State to prumL'tc (16) christian morals, and to extend the kingdom of the Pedee- iner, hare continued their efforts with undiminished zeal and success. To individuals whom God hath distinguislhed by the possesion of wealth, he has given the disposition to become distinguished benefactors of the church. The Theological Seminary of Andover is flourishing. It has sixty-seven students; many of whom, like their breth. ren in the sister Seminary at Prineton, are devoted to mis- sions. The Society, recently established to educate pious young men for the christian ministry, promises much good tothe church. It has on its funds sixty-siK students, inva- riCus seminaries, and in various stages of academical learn- ing. From New Hampshire we arc happy to learn, that the interests of evangelical religion are in a progressive state. That a Missionary Society has been long established, to- sether with a Bible Society. Societies, for charitable ob- jects, and for the reformation of morals, are multiplied and attended with salutary effects. About 20 congregations have been blessed with revivals. From Vermont we have no formal report; but by authen- tic information, we learn that upwards of one huutdi ecs So. cieties have been visited with efl'usionis of the Holy Spir- it. The work is most remarkable and illustrious. The heritage of Zion is refresked, and the teripies of ute Lord are filled with worshippers On the whole, the past year has been a year of Zion's glory within our bounds. Cheering ate the prospects of the future; and the signs of the times deserve our deep attention. The church is, at present, to be viewed in a light peculiarly interesting. Thoi friends of Zio'n are a- wake from a long slecp. The hCralds of the gospel are running to and fro through the earth, and krowledge is in.- creasing. Mighty excrtions are now claking throlughout the Christian world. Enipeiors arti kie g;, Xwitlh mlen of every rank, combine their efforts to circulate tia Sacred Scriptures around the globe. Prejuiidce and bigotry, which have so lont separated those wiio scr'ed our com- "I7J Chon Lord, and promoted a common cause, seem by de.. grces to be passing away. The Spirit of God is marvel. ouslly shed forth on some parts of Zion. Fervency and con. cert in prayer appear to be increasing among Christians Al ay we not then hopc, that the night is far spent; that the day is at hand May we not hope, that the time approach- es, when the kingdom of this world shall become the kingdom of God and his Christ ! E VEN SO, coNiE LoRtD J R- SuS, COME qUICKLY ! Acme; Published by order of the General Assembly, Attest, WILLIAM NEXILL, Stated Clerk: Ph'ladelfhiay May, 18 1 7. A PASTORAL LETTER, Prom the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Churelh in the United Slateg of America, to the Churches under their care. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, to the Churches under their care, wish grace, mercy, and peace, fronm God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Very Dear Brethren, ASSEMBLED, by the good providence of God, as the supreme judicatory of our Church' we - z constrained to to address you, and endeavour to impart to you some of those views and feelings to which our counsels have given rise, and which are suggested by the present aspect of the Church and of the world. From the puinted" 6Narrative of the state of Religi,:z within our bounds, " which accompanies this address, you rill learn, that although we have hcar' of sonme facts Ba.a (18) wihich are matter of regret and humiliation, (I the general aspect of the Church of God, has never been more favour- able, within our knowledge, than at the present time. i The gradual increase of gospel light, the extension of the blessings of education to all classes and ages; the grow ing diffusion of missinaivy zeal aud exertions; the rapid mul- tiplication of Bible Societies, and, through their irnstrumen- tality, the wonderful sprea-d of the knowledge of the word of life in languages and coutntries hitherto strangers to the sacred volume ; the nnnierous associations for evangelical, benevolent, and humane purposes, which have arisen and are daily arisingin every part of ourbemnds ; and above all, the converting and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, which have been poured out, for some time past, anrd espe- cially during the last year, in many of the Congregations be- longing te our communion ; form an assemblage vwhich can- not fail to be in a high degree interesting and animiating to the friends of pure and undefiled religion; an assemblage, which while it gratifiks, for the present, the pious and be- nevolent heatt, must excite the most precious hopes for the future. Such mighty plans of benevolence STIsuch wonder- ful combinations; sudi a general movement of mankind, in promoting the great cause of human Iappiness were, sure- ly, never before witnessed The day s of darkness, we fondly hope, are passing away ; and the period drawing nigh when the angel bearing the trumpet of the everlasting Gospel, shall carry his holy, life-giving m-essage to every kindred, anid people, and nation, and tongue. The General Assembly, standing, as it is their privilege t do, at the confluence of so many strearms of information on these great subjects, while they communicate a sum.- mary of this information to the ChurchLs Under their care' desire to accompany it with a word of affectionate exhorts. tion, the object of which is to elngage every heart and ev- ery hand in promoting to the utmost of their power the in- terests of that kingdom, which is not mcat and driifk, but riglteou-nes andpzcace, and joy iL the HIly f Ghost. At such a period, dt ar brethren, let it he impressed upon the mind of every nitmber of our Church, that we are cal- (19) led to hunnblc, dillitent, pcrsevcring exertion. Much hat been done ; but much more rein iins to be done; anid much, we hope, will be done by us. Every day makes a denia:nd ul)o' the time, the affections, tsie prayers, the property azid the influence of tUie people of God, which it wouid be ingratitude, cruelty, nay, treachery, to repel. Let every one, then, in his placc and proportion, endeavour daily to add something to the common anmount of effort to pi epara the way of the Lord. No one can tell how mucii it inay piease the sovereign Disposer of cveiits to accompiish by means of tle numblest exertio:is. Timishowever we knoev. that those who are dtedfast, unmovech,/, alwva's abouiding in the ivork of the Lord) shall/ind that their labour is noC in vain in she Lord. Letthe MINsIr Elts OF THR GOSPEL inour communion be every wlhere kuu eng-itged ito preaching the truth, as it is in Jesus, with affectionate zeal. Let them go before, their people in every holy example, and in evcry pious arid bemmevolemt exertion. Le- it be manifest to all, tnat they seek not their oa'.'z, but the things which are Jca.us (7zrwt'. Surelv there never was a tirric when the wvatciimen on tho walls f Zion were more sotvrmnnly botund to give themsclvee wholh to their work ; or when tiley had nmore eiicourage- ment to plan and labour for their inaster's nmonour ! Sure- ly there never was a time, wimeu those whose duty it is to guide the exertiomis of their fiwiow-aien, iiad more reason to feel their responsibility, a nd to ask fur wisdom and stren.gth firom above ! Let ministers take great anid colmrpreliensivc- VieYS of the si ns of twe tiles, and the prospects of thc Ciurcti ! and while they point out the way to those who are willing to be worker8 together with Grod; le.t it be seen llat it is taietr meat and drink to s mare in the labour aa well as in the c watiuis of taic Rvdec-mer's kingdom. ,-t aiLthe MEAIBERS OF OU'R CHURLCHES consider theni- selves as calcu uu)o., in tieir scvcral stations, to do somne. thiimg,-to do ntucmi lor Christ. A.Mliions of our r'ace alC Sti, su;ik in ignorance and depravity Dark and waste pla- v;S. abiud, uveu i our mot0St jpoulous ioiid C11i.itcMGe (20) eneighborhoods, anti still more in the reem6te portions orome church. In very large districts within the Urit d Statess there are no Bibles, no S Abaths, no Sanctuaries, none to shew nien the way o. salvation. Can a single heart bc un- impressed, or a single hand idle, while such calls forcom- passion ar.d exertion abound No, brethren; these obli- gations, we trust, are too tender not to be felt ;-these calls too solemn not to be heard. Be entreated then, with one accord, to come foruward to the help oi the Lord against thc mighty. Embrace every opportunity, to the extent of the ability which God has given you, to form, and vigorously to support, Missionary Associations ; Bible Socicties; plans for the distribution of. religious tracts ; and exertions for extending the benefits of knowledge, and especially of sl-. ritual knowledge, to all ages and classes of persons around you. Exert yourselves, individually, and in combination, to oppose all those degrading and destructive vices over which we have so long lad reason to mourn. Endeavour ty your example and your ii;fluence, to discourage the unnecessary use of spirituous liquors; to promote the san. ctificationofthe Lords's day ; to guard against a criminal conformity to the world; to promote a general attendance on the means of gr ace ;-and to advance the great interests of truth, purity, and righteousness, in all manner of conver. Cation.. In these hallowed labours, let none refuse to join. ft is among the distinguishecd glories of the nineteenth century, that PIOUS FEMALES are more extt nsivcly associated, and more activefy useful, in promoting evangelical and benevolent objects, than in any forn-er period of the- world.-Let them go on with increasing ac. ivity and ardour in these exertions, so worthy of wome roafeaeing Godzinese, and so useful tomainkncd. And let them by precept, as well as by example, train up their daughters in principles and habits so well calculated to elevate the the female character, and to, enlarge the sum of human hap. pness. Let not even LISPING CHILD1OOD, OR TENDER YOUTH tie idlc.-Lct cevry iibte Clase, every School-assutiation ever employment which brings your beToved children tcv gether, be inade a medium for convetg to their mi! ds that benign imprcssion, which shall cnlist them on the siclic of truth and of the churchvof God, fi oni the earliest dawn of reason. Happy congregations happy families. iu) wvhiclh even babes and sackiings, shall be taught, a3 in timer of old, to sing-Tfhanna tP Him that comneth in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the ighest r In a word, let your plans of carrying on these works of piety, and benevolence embrace every class and every age; and be pursued with growing ardour, until every congrega- tion within our bounrds slaall be completely Organized for exzrtinn to proiaote the temporal and eternal welfare of men :-until every heart that can lifc a prayer to tb) throne of grace, and every hand that can cast a mite into the treasury of God, shall he fully engaged in this mighty effort otfchristian c:iarity. Until the d'egert urhall rejoice and blot- torn JR the rose; uintil men, tundir the reign of millenni al gloi y, (we trust not far distant,) shall live together as breth- ren indeed, having no other ivishes than to promote their common happiness; and to glorify their common God. To these efforts in belialf of the causc of Christ, join fer- vent, uiiited PMAYER Wo tieed not remind you, brethrcs. thit all Zion's blessings come down from her King ahd Head ; and that he will be inquired of by his people to do for trem that which they need amnd desire. WVe are perl stiadedl that all thoie periods and churches which have- bee i favored with special revivals of religion, have bcca al- se distinguiihed by VISIBLE UNION AXD CONOCERT I FRAYER.-We erntre;t you, bretl ren, to ctetisih this unioll and concert. We especially c,-.ort you to pay renewed and more sotemn attention to tl;e MONTHLY CONCERT I1 PPRAYER, recommcrdcled by a fornier Assembly, and so generally and happily observed. Has not the Saviour prom- ised, that if any two of his people agree as touchizag an thing which they desire, He will grant their request What blessings, then, may we not lhope'will be shed down upon the Church, whene the thousands of our Israci arc foud bowing to-uhacr, before the throse of nercy, zsaP iwgjcr Ziozi e sake, we r.til not hold our peace, andfcir A tusaem' sake we 5will not reat, until the righteousnrsa 1hereofgo forth aa brightness and the sa'ltation thtro qf as A lamp that burneth ! Enideavaur to maintain a spit-it of harmony with all de. 6ominations ofChrisLians. Whilst you contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and bear a faithful testimony to the apostofick doctrine and order, which wc profess to receivc; let no bigotry or prejudice, no party Iancour, or offensive crimiination, pollute your testimony. Remember that the period is approaching, when all real christians shall set eye to eye; when they halbe uiited in opinion as well as in affection. Cherish now the senti- ments which correspond with this delightful anticipatiot Let all bitterness, and wrath, and evil speaking, be put a- wvay from among you, with all malice and continnaily look and pray for the happy period when believers of every name shall agrcc to act together upon the great principles of our common salvation., Finially, clear brethren, be uDrrlE n AMIONG YOUiSF.L- vEs. If you desire to proffit by your spiritual piivileges; if you hope to be-instrumental in Prom0u61g the cause of Christ, or to be honoured with his blessing ; cherish har- m(ony of affection, and union of effort.-Besides the com- mon bondsof Christian love. which unite the great family of believers; the ministers and metnbers of the Presbyterian Church are cemented by a compact which every honest mnan cannot fail to appreciate. We mean the" Contession ofFaith" of our Ctiurch. Wihilewe beleive tie Scripttires of the Oldatid New Testanients to he the only infallible rule of faith and practice, we do also, if we deal faithfuliy with God and mati, siucerely receive and adopt this- Confession, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the 11o1y Scriptures. Let us adhere to the standard with fidelity; and endea- vour to transmit to our children pure and undefiled, a trea- sure, which our Fathers at great expense have, under G(Xe4 bequeathed to us. But while we hold that form of souiod rvords which we hai-c received, let us puard against inzdc!; (23) -ting a spirit ofcontraversy, than which few things ae; nawl urtfrieuidly to the life and power of godliness. It is never necessary to sacrifice charity, in order to mnaintain faith and hope. That differences of opinion, acknowledged on all hands, to be of the minor class, may and ought to be tolera- ted, anicong those who are agreed in great and leading views of Divine truth, is a principle on which the Gudly have so long and so generally acted, that it seems unnecebs. ary, at the present day, to seek arguments for its support. Our Fathers, in early periods of the history of our churc'i, had their peculiarities and diversities of opinion, which yet' however, did not prevent them from loving orne another from cordially acting together; and by their united prayers and exertions, transmitting to us a goodly inheritance. Let us emulate their moderation and forbearance, and we Tnay hope to be favored with more than their success. The great adversary will, no doubt, be disposed to sow the seeds of discord and division among you. But resist him in this, as well as in all his other insiduous effortsi. Surely those who can come togetheron the great principles of our public Standards, however they may differ on noni. essential points. ought not to separate, or to indulge bitter- niess or prejudice against eacn other. Dear brethren, 'let there be no divisions among you ;-but be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment, Follow the things which make for peace. and the things wlicrel ye mnay edify one another. Behold how good, S Low pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity' Bt aiircn, farewellsJovc one another, or love is of GCd and evcry one that loveth is bornof God, and knowe:h God 1k of one mind ; live in peace, and the God of love and o peace shall be with you. ' Amen ! .S:-ned by order of the General Assembly, JONAS Coz, Akderaroj. Dear brethre; Tnc Committee ae hapy to infcrryT3 thma) it is huramb'y bog k24) -hat the Ur has rcV;Lvcd his work in C-cord congregation j; )Ixcho.s County 46n the 2. Sabth of ;L;st June the Lo;rd' Supper wu.s ;.UwnkLster. Cd at that paee by Messrs. Lyle, Mci eLnd, and Edg-r. The -Assemblies were attentive throughout the occasion. Many appeard deeply sclemr.n, and numhibrs wqpt. On that OCCa- eion three adults were baptused and in "II about fourWeen were admitted to the full communion of the church. On conversing with the young people it was found that three or tur of them had been lmnler serious imp.t:ssions ever since the sacrament administerid there last Sept. by Messrs. Lyle, and M.- so.. One had been awakened by reading Baxters Call, othere by the sudden death ot an acquaintance Mr. Lyle appointed to precih at that place the following Situr- day and Sabbatr. On Saturdaiy seven were received to the crni. mtirion of the Church. On Sabbath, thert was a large Assemblv and great attention and Solemnitv. Oun the second Sabbath of Juty the Lords supper was administered at concord by Mlessrs. Lyle, Dicky,and Mlartin. It was in the throng of hirvest an(l haui in- irn grain but on Saturday and Mlonday there were pretty large Assem- huies of people. The Lord appearedto attend his word with powver. On that occasion about ten were received to full comainwon. 0n Wednesday the 23, of July three were admitted to full commu- uion. In about six weeks about thirty Ave have been admitted to the 4wmmunion of the Church in that congregation. And numbers appear to be under deep impressions. This work juas at the prc- sent, every mark of a work of divine grace. We hope it is tht work of Jehovah. Ifso, the subjects of it will manifest the power of his grace by a holy walk and Gorili conversation, Our Lord says, 1' by their fruits ye shall know them. " As the work is of recent date, we have had but little opportit- jiity of judging by the fis its. May the Lord grant that these Col' trt3 may brinm forth ;:: ch frit to his glory. Paris, July 28., 1817. ;xvNIs.