« AnteriorContinua »
is made. If the appellant give notice and satisfactory reasons to the President of the Judicature to which the appeal is made, that he cannot attend at their next stated meeting, his appeal shall lie over to their next following stated meeting; but if no such notice and reason be given, and he does not appear to prosecute his ap. peal, it shall be considered as relinquished.
In cases of references from lower to higher Judicatures, for advice and direction, the references shall be presented in the form of a resolution of the Judicature, making the same, stating distinctly the whole subject matter of the reference, which resolution shall be certified by the President of the lower Judicature, and all such references, in cases of discipline shall be governed by the rules which have been or may be adopted relative to appeals, so far as the same may be applicabile.
[Passed in the session of General Synod, 1806.]
When a call is presented to Classis for approbation, from congregations, who are combined, and such combination in the judgment of Classis, be improper, the approbation must be withdrawn.
(Passed in the session of General Synod, 1800.
Synod resolved, 1st. That the right or privilege of infant baptism doth not rest upon what is called full communion, nor is the partaking of the Lord's Supper by one or both of the parents, an indispensable test for admitting infants to be baptised in the Reformed Dutch Church.
2d. That in avoiding one extreme, which straitens admission into the Church of Christ by making a test not commanded in the word of God, it is necessary to watch against the opposite evil, which makes no distinction between the pure and vile, and which by an indiscriminate administration to all who apply, relaxes Christian discipline, and prostitutes the sacred ordinance of baptism : The General Synod, therefore, recommend and enjoin, that when both the parents openly profess such errors or heresies, or are chargeable with such iminoralities and improper conduct, as ought, if they were in full communion, to exclude them from the table of the Lord, they shall not, during such apostacy, in doctrines or manners, be permitted to present their infants to baptism; but shall be denied that privilege until they profess repentance, and shew amendment. When one of the parents shall be thus guilty, and the other is a decent and peaceable professor of the religion of Jesus Christ, the infant shall be baptised at the request and upon the right of the professing parent, who alone shall stand and present the child. And, lastly, where the Minister, and one or more of the Elders, find great ignorance in the parents, and such a want of knowledge in the first principles of our holy religion, as to render them unfit to make a public profession of their faith, it shall be their duty to withhold them for a time, notwithstanding their decent moral conduct, and profession, and frequently and affectionately instruct them, previous to their admission to the ordinance, that thus, if possible, the confession and vows at the baptism of their infants may be made with knowledge, sincerity and truth.
[Passed in the session of General Synod, 1804.} Resolved, That the question “ Are adult persons living within the bounds of a congregation, who have been initiated by the ordinance of baptism in infancy, but who are not members in full communion, to be considered as subjects of discipline and dealt with as such ?” be answered in the affirmative, as far as it respects those who have been baptised in the Dutch Church, or have acknowledged themselves members of the congregation.
(Passed in the session of General Synod, 1812.]
The following question was brought up from the Particular Synod, Is it lawful for a man to marry his deceased wife's sister ?—which, being considered, was answered by the General Synod in the negative. A committee was then appointed to report what degree of censure is proper to be inflicted upon the persons who contract such marriage ; who reported, as their opinion, that as the General Synod have determined the marriage of a man with his deceased wife's sister to be unlawful, therefore the decision of the Particular Synod, held in the year 1788, must regulate the censure in such cases :--the above report was agreed to. The adjudication of the Particular Synod in 1788, is in these words, “ The Synod resolved, that as all such marriages are contrary to the word of God, and that purity of life so becoming the Christian character, the persons contracting such marriages cannot be admitted to the table of the Lord until the offence be removed."
[Passed in the session of General Synod, 1797.] Resolved, That baptism cannot, consistently, be administered to a child born of such marriage, although presented by persons members of the Church, and in other respects fit sponsors.
Resolved, That Synod will, at their next session, proceed to examine whether the Canon or Church order of the Reformed Dutch Church, declaring or adjudg
ing a marriage by a man with a sister of a deceased wife, unlawful, as forbidden in the word of God, ought to remain or to cease as a rule of discipline in the churches under their care and jurisdiction.
[Passed in the session of General Synod, June, 1815.)
Synod adopted the following report : "In the constitution of the Church of Christ the education of children is considered as an object of primary importance; and must, therefore, be made the basis of every plan for the promulgation of her doctrines, the preservation of her purity, and the extension of her limits. Those who are born within her pale, or of baptised parents, are members or constituent parts of her visible body. She is, by the appointment of God, formally signified to Abraham, their moral parent. The baptism of each one of them is a sacrament not only to the parents whodedicate them to God, but also to the Church of believers, designed to seal anew the original promise of the covenant made to Abraham, the father of the faithful. These children, which are in this solemn rite devoted to God, are at the same time given up to the care of the Church. She receives them into her bosom, adopts them into her family, unites them in the pledge given by the parents, to pray for them, and to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and as bound to extend her inspection to all the sources of instruction, the family, the school, and the House of God. So far as your Committee have had it in their power to examine, they find that this constitution was recognized in the days of Apostolical purity; adopted by the Churches of Geneva, France, Holland, and fully acted tipon by the Belgic Churches, and expressly recognized
by the constitution and explanation thereof by our Re formed Churches in America.
In conformity to this, it is expressly decreed by the last Synod of Dort, in session 17th, that there should be observed a threefold method of catechising, viz.
1st. Domestic, by Parents.
3d. Ecclesiastic, by Pastors, Elders, Readers, or Visitors of the sick.
And that all whose duty it is to visit and inspect the Churches and Schools, shall be admonished to make this the first object of their care.
To carry this plan into effect, so far as respects the second method of instruction, there was made another decree, which comprises the following resolutions :
1st. Schools for the education of children and youth, shall be established wherever they may be found necessary
2d. Provision shall be made for procuring and maintaining suitable teachers.
3d. The children of the poor must be provided for in these Schools, or in others, expressly for them.
4th. No person shall be appointed to the charge of these Schools, who is not a member of the Reformed Church, furnished with testimonials of his orthodoxy and good morals, and who shall not previously have subscribed the Confession of Faith, the Belgic Catechism, and solemnly promised to instruct the children committed to his care, in the principles contained in the Church standards.
5th. They shall, according to the age or capacity of the children, employ two half days in every week, not only in hearing them repeat, but assisting them to understand their Catechism : Shall examine them frequently, inculcate upon them the necessity of regular attendance upon the ordinances of religion, accompany