Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Se&. VI. The presbytery shall meet on their

own adjournment : and, when any How to be convered. emergency shall require a meeting,

fooner than the time to which the ju. dicatory stands adjourned, the moderator shall, with the concurrence, or at the request of two ministers and two elders, the elders being of dif. ferent "congregations, call meeting of the prefbytery, by a circular letter sent to every minifter, and to the session of every vacant congregation having a right to send a representative to the judicatory, in due time previous to the meeting; which time shall be ascertained and recorded by each presbytery, and shall not be less than ten days: and nothing shall be transacted, at such fpecial meeting, befides the particular business for which the judicatory has been thus convened.

Sect. VII. At each meeting of presbytery, a

sermon shall be delivered, if conveOpening of the Presbytery.

nient; and every particular session

fhall be opened and concluded with prayer; The roll shall be called, and the meeting recorded by the clerk, who shall enter the names of the members present, and also of those ministers who are absent,

c H A P. A.

Of the Synodical Assembly*.
Sect. I.
A.

S a prefbytery is the convention Confituent

of the bishops and elders, with.. Members of in a certain district; fo a fynod is a Synod. convention of the bishops and elders, within a larger district, including several presbyteries.

Sect. II. Any seven ministers of the fynod, who shall convene at the time and place of meeting, with as many elders as may be present, shall be a quorum to tranfact synodical business; provided not more than four of the faid ministers belong to one presbytery. Sect. III. The fynod have power to admit

and judge of appeals, regularly brought Powers thereof. up from the presbyteries: to give their

judgment on all references, and ecclesiastical cases, made to them; to review the pref... bytery books; to redress whatever hath been done by presbyteries contrary to order ; to take effectual care that presbyteries observe the con.. ftitutions of the church; to make fuch regula. tions for the benefit of their whole body, and of the prefbyteries and churches under their care,

As the proofs already adduced in favour of a prefbyterial: affemhly in the government of the church, are equally valid in support of a synodical assembly (üncc a fynod is only a larger presbytery) it is unnecessary to repeat the scriptures to which rei ference has been made under Chaj- IX, or to add any other,

as shall be agreeable to the word of God, and not contradictory to the decisions of the general affembly, and to propose, to the general aflembly, for their adoption, such measures as may be of common advantage to the whole church.

[blocks in formation]

Of the General Assemblyt.
Sect. I. THE general afsembly is the

THE

highest judicatory of the presStyle of the high-byterian church; and shall repre. eft r Judicatory of sent, in one body, all the particuthe Presbyterian lar churches of this denomination;

and shall bear the style and title of of The General Afembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,

Sect. II.' The general assembly fall confift of an equal delegation of bishops and elders

Church.

[ocr errors]

† The radical principles of presbyterian church government and discipline are;

That the several different congregations of believers, taken collectively, constitute one church of Chrift, called emphatically the church ;-that a larger part of the church, or a representation of it, fhould govern a smaller, or determine matters of controversy which arise therein ;-that, in like manner, a representation of the whole should govern and determine in regard to everý part and to all the parts united, that is, that a majority fall govern. And, consequently, that appeals may be carried from lower to higher judicatories, till they be finally decided by the collected wisdom and united voice of the .wbele church. For these principles and this procedure, the example of the apostles and the practice of the primitive church is confidered as authority.-See Acts 15. 1, 2, 4, 6. and from the 2d to the 29th, verses; alfo Acts 16. 14. and the proofs adda, ced under the three lait chapters,

2

Constituent Mem- from each presbytery, in the folo. bers of the General Assembly. lowing proportion: viz. each prefbytery, confisting of not more than fix minifters shall send one minister and one elder; each pref-. bytery, conGfting of more than fix minifters and not more than twelve, shall send two ministers and two elders; and in líke proportion, for every fix ministers, in any presbytery: And these delegates, fo appointed, shall bear the title of Commisoners to the general assembly. Sect. III. Any fourteen, or more, of these

commiffioners, one half of whom shall Quorum thereof.

be ministers, being met, on the day, and.

at the place appointed, fhall be compe. tent to form a general assembly, and to proceed to business. Sect. IV. The assembly, shall receive and if.

fue all appeals and references, which Power of the Assembly

may be regularly brought before them

from the inferior judicatories; they shall review the minutes and proceedings of every fynod, to approve or censure them; they shall give their advice and instructions, in all other cases submitted to them; and they shall also constitute. the bond of union, peace, correspondences and mutual confidence, among all our churches. Sect. V... To the affembly also belongs the

power of consulting, reasoning, and Other Powers of the Assembly. ° judging, in controversies respecting

doctrine and discipline ; of reprove ing, warning, or bearing testimony against error:

[ocr errors]

in doctrine, or immorality in practice, in any
church, presbytery, or fynod ; of correspond-
ing with foreign churches ; of putting a stop to
fchifmatical contentions, and difputations; and,
in general, of recommending and attempting re-
formation of manners, and of promoting charity,
truth and holiness, through all the churches;
and of erecting new fynods, when they judge it
neceffary
Sect. VI. Before any overtures or regulations,

proposed by the assembly to be estab-
Restriction of
the power of lished as constitutional rules, lhall be
the Asembly. obligatory on the churches, it shall
be necessary to transmit them to all the presbyte-
ries, and to receive the returns of, at least, a majo-
rity of the presbyteries, in writing, approving
thereof.

c H A P.

XII.

of Electing and ordaining ruling

Elders and Deucons.

H4

Sect. I. AVING defined the officers

of the church, and the affem. blies by which it shall be governed, it is proper here to prescribe the modes in which ecclefiaftical rulers shall be ordained to their refpective offices.

« AnteriorContinua »