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Rev. Arthur L. Gillett, of Connecticut; Rev. Michael Burnham, of Missouri ; Rev. Levi H. Cobb, of New York.
Rev. Charles H. Richards, of Pennsylvania, offered prayer and pronounced the benediction.
A recess was taken till 7.30.
WEDNESDAY EVENING. At 7.30, Rev. George E. Hall, of New Hampshire, conducted worship.
American Board. Rev. Judson Smith, of Massachusetts, spoke for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
Greetings. Rev. Lewis Malvern presented the greetings of the Freewill Baptists, and Rev. Ammi Ladd of the Methodist Episcopal churches.
Rev. Hugh Pedley presented the greetings of the Congregational Union of Ontario and Quebec.
Rev. J. Morgan Gibbon gave a farewell address.
Papers. Rev. Matthew H. Buckham, of Vermont, read a paper on Christianity a World-wide Movement, and the responsibility of the church in regard to it. 2
Rev. John P. Jones, of India, read a paper on New Perils and Possibilities in Foreign Fields. 3
Rev. Nehemiah Boynton, of Michigan, gave an address.
The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Frank J. Goodwin, of Rhode Island, and a recess was taken till 9.30 Thursday morning.
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3 Page 314.
THURSDAY MORNING, Oct. 17. At 9, Rev. Moses Smith, of Illinois, offered prayer.
The minutes of Wednesday were read and approved.
Attendance of Delegates. The following resolution was adopted : That the provisional committee be directed to include in the printed program the names of all persons who have been regularly appointed to speak before the Council, and that the secretary be requested to send copies of the program to all delegates whose names shall have been sent to him not later than two weeks previous to the meeting of the Council.
Devotion. At 9.30 Rev. George W. Henderson, of Louisiana, led the Council in a half hour of worship.
The question of the printing of statistics so that state secretaries may be aided in their work was referred to the publishing committee.
Committee on Labor. In response to a request from the Massachusetts Labor Committee, it was voted, That a committee on labor be appointed.
Later they were appointed as follows: Rev. Frank W. Merrick, of Massachusetts; Rev. Washington Gladden, of Ohio; Rev. William J. Tucker, of New Hampshire ; Rev. David N. Beach, of Colorado ; Rev. William A. Knight, of Massachusetts.
Councils and the Pastorate. I
The report of the committee on the resolutions of the committee on councils and the pastorate was presented, with resolutions which were by vote laid upon the table.
Your committee makes the following report upon the suggestions of the committee appointed in 1898 (Rev. G. R. W. Scott, chair
man), to report at the present National Council concerning the methods of induction into the pastorate.
The report seems to us of great value as a résumé of the attitude of past National Councils towards the subject under consideration.
Your committee recognizes the fact that the method of induction into the pastorate belongs to the local church to determine, and that there is no higher ecclesiastical tribunal to which the matter can be submitted.
We believe, however, that the dignity and importance of the pastorate require that some method be employed for initiation. What shall that method be? As a matter of fact, the method of installation has largely gone out of use in many places. While installation is not regarded as essential to the pastorate, or an indispensable safeguard to the purity of the ministry, its use we believe should be encouraged. There are sections of the country, sparsely settled and difficult of access, where it would be well-nigh impossible to install a pastor according to the usual method ; while in the case of many churches there is an absolute reluctance to adopt installation as a method of induction.
Congregationalism is elastic enough to allow of some other way to accomplish the result. What is called a “Recognition Council" would secure the most important ends to be subserved in the premises.
What is the initiation into the pastorate for? There are two great objects to gain : one is the approval of the churches and pastors in the vicinage ; and another is the recognition of common faith, interest, and fellowship in the same. It must be evident that the permanency and efficiency of the pastorate would be enhanced when it had the countenance and “God speed" of the local churches and ministry in the neighborhood.
We recommend, then, that some method of formal initiation into the pastorate be employed, at which there shall be found by invitation representatives of other Congregational churches, wherever this is possible, to lend influence, dignity, and fraternity to the occasion. We also recommend that the designations in the Year-Book be retained.
Your committee would offer the following resolutions :
Resolved (1), The National Council advises some formal method of induction into the pastorate of Congregational Churches; either by Installing Council, or, when that is not practicable, by Council of Recognition, which will emphasize the fellowship of the churches and tend to promote the purity of the ministry.
Resolved (2), We advise that the designation in the Year-Book be as follows, viz. : For those inducted into office by Installing Council “P. I.," and for those using Council of Recognition, “P. R.”; that other designations remain unchanged.
GEO. H. IDE.
Marriage and Divorce. Resolutions on Marriage and Divorce were referred to a committee of three for immediate action. The committee appointed were Rev. Francis D. Kelsey, of Ohio, Rev. Frederick A. Noble, of Illinois, William E. Brooks, of Maine, who presented resolutions, which were adopted.
Report of the Committee on Marriage and Divorce. The committee beg leave to report the following resolutions : –
We view with serious misgiving the alarming increase in divorces and the consequent deplorable results in domestic and social life.
We regard the purity and unity of the family as corner-stones of Christian homes and Christian civilization.
We do not question the propriety of solemnizing the marriage of a party who has been shown to be innocent in divorce proceedings; but we urge upon the ministers the duty of withholding sanction from those whose divorce has been secured on other than scriptural grounds.
3. We ask that the provisional committee be requested to secure a place upon the programme of the Twelfth Triennial Council for a paper, giving a careful review of the situation, together with recommendations as to the best methods of remedy.
F. D. KELSEY,
Report of Special Committee. The report of the special committee of five upon charter revision, ministerial relief, and the report of the trustees was accepted, and, after discussion, its recommendations were adopted.
TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES OF
THE UNITED STATES : The committee to which were referred matters relating to ministerial relief, viz : (1) The report of Judge Shipman and others relating to amendments to the charter of the trustees of the National Council; (2), the report of the committee on Ministerial Relief; and (3), the report of the trustees of this Council, submit the following report:
The call for this work of ministerial relief throughout the country is increasingly imperative. No backward step should be taken. We would rather urge a forward movement looking to greater efficiency and wider usefulness.
The charter held by the trustees of the National Council is broad and comprehensive. It leaves the control of its affairs and of its corporate membership where it should be, in the National Council. The funds held for disabled ministers and their families already amount to about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars. Under its charter the corporation cannot hold property in excess of three hundred thousand dollars. In view of the possible, we might say probable, large increase of the fund by legacies and donations in the not distant future, we recommend that the trustees endeavor to secure an amendment to their charter increasing the limit of property which they are allowed to hold to not less than ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
The trustees of this Council, as a corporation, have now no reason for existence, except to secure, hold and distribute relief funds.
At the present time the provisional committee, created for a temporary and different purpose, are the trustees ex-officio, while the actual work of raising and distributing funds has been intrusted to a committee of ten, who work under instructions and with authority from this Council, but in conflict with the By-Laws of the Trustees, who are responsible for these funds.
If this Council shall select the best agents for this important work and make them trustees, placing all power and responsibility
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