« السابقةمتابعة »
for action was then laid on the table until the Address should be ready.
The proposed alteration of the proviso at the end of the Restrictive Rules, recommended at the last General Conference, having been submitted to the annual conferences for their action, was reported to have been passed by all of them in full and due form. It was thereupon recommended by the Committee on Itinerancy that the present General Conference concur in this action. On taking the vote, the alteration was adopted unanimously.
The monthly Methodist Magazine in 1830 was changed into a quarterly. The agents had already been instructed to publish portraits of leading preachers in it, and several had appeared. The following resolution on this subject was passed:
“Resolved, That inasmuch as any preachers, who shall supply the Book Concern with sketches of their likenesses for the purpose of having them engraved, are expected to obtain the sketches at their own expense, it is expedient that the whole business be submitted to the management of the Book Agents, leaving them to select such as are willing to bear the expenses, and, at the same time having some respect to the age of the preachers and the time they have been in the ministry.”
This resolution, though clumsily worded, does not seem to be very encouraging to personal vanity. It saved the agents probably a deal of correspondence and offense giving.
The subject of Temperance received proper attention, both in the Committee on Temperance and in the Conference. Wilbur Fisk was requested to deliver a sermon on the subject on Tuesday evening, May 15th. The report of the Committee which had been laid on the table was taken up and passed, and the Address which they prepared was adopted on the last day of the session. It was ordered to be published in the Advocate and Journal, and as a tract.
A communication, from the British Wesleyan Conference to the bishops was read in the Conference, stating that it was not convenient for them to send delegates to visit the United States at the present session.
The Committee on Episcopacy reported, recommending the election of three additional bishops. The report was amended by inserting two instead of three, and was then adopted. Friday, May 18th, was observed as a day of fasting and prayer, preparatory to the election of bishops. The ballots were cast on Tuesday, 22d, and James Osgood Andrew had one hundred and forty votes and John Emory had one hundred and thirtyfive. Each of them having a majority of the whole was declared elected. Both were ordained on Friday, May 25th, immediately after the funeral discourse by Bishop McKendree on the death of Bishop George.
The Committee on Itinerancy reported, recommending a change in the Restrictive Rules, so that the ratio of representation in the General Conference, should be not more than one representative for every fourteen members of the annual conference, nor less than one for every thirty; and if this change should be authorized by the annual conferences, then the ratio for the General Conference of 1836 should be one for every fourteen, and the change should be embodied in the Disciplines published subsequent to the vote authorizing the change. The report was adopted.
The Hymn Book heretofore in use among the Methodists had been thoroughly revised and enlarged through the action of the Book Agents in New York, a number of hymns that had been altered by the former compilers or editors were restored to their original state, as they came from the poetical pens of Charles and John Wesley, a few were selected from other authors, the two books of the old collection were combined into one, and the hymns were arranged under appropriate heads. This revised Hymn Book was submitted to the General Conference, approved by that body, and ordered to be published as the standard hymn-book of the Church. The tunes appropriate to the several hymns were printed in the Methodist Harmonist; and in the new hymn-book, the tune, and page where it could be found, were indicated at the head of each hymn.
The claims of the Canada Conference, which by consent of the General Conference had recently become an independent organization under the name of “The Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada," upon the Book Concern were amicably adjusted by the adoption of a report brought in by the Committee on that subject. The principal points of this settlement, to be voted on and concurred in by the annual conferences before taking effect, were: 1. The dividend to be made according to the proportion that the number of traveling preachers in Canada Conference bore to the number of traveling preachers in the United States, superannuated preachers and those on trial to be included. 2. The amount to be divided to be reckoned according to the first and largest estimate of stock in the last exhibit of the Book Agents ($448,745.707/2) deducting therefrom debts due by the Concern, annuities, etc., estimated at $15,728.18, and the whole amount of the publishing fund, $16,928.28, making a total reduction, including credits to be allowed to Martin Ruter and Charles Holliday, of $35,178.77;—leaving the amount to be divided $413,566.931/2. 3. The Canada Conference to receive a full proportion of the unsalable and salable stock, and of the bad as well as the good debts, considering stock and debts in Canada that belong to the Book Concern as so much of the dividend already paid, according to the manner of estimating the whole amount. 4. When the adjustment should be made according to the foregoing preliminaries, it was to be accepted as a final settlement of all claims which the Canada Conference might be supposed to have on the Book Concern, or any other funds or property of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. Meanwhile, the Canada Conference was to receive the same equal proportion of the Book Concern dividends as before.
The expenses of the delegates were found to amount to $12,713.5672, of which there was collected in the conferences $7,426.73, leaving a deficiency to be provided for, of $5,222.1772 ($45 to be added to the Philadelphia and Virginia Conferences). The balance was ordered to be paid, as heretofore, out of the proceeds of the Book Concern.
Nathan Bangs was elected editor of the Quarterly Review and of books. John P. Durbin was elected editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal, and Peter Akers assistant editor; but as he declined to serve, Timothy Merritt was elected in his stead. Beverly Waugh was elected Book Agent in New York and Thomas Mason Assistant Agent. The Book Committee having recommended that there be two agents in the West, and the Conference having so ordered, Charles Holliday was elected Book Agent for Cincinnati, and John F. Wright assistant. William M. Curtis was nominated and elected agent at New Orleans.
Daniel Ostrander, Nathan Bangs and Beverly Waugh were appointed a Committee to make the proper selections from the Journal for the Discipline, and to edit the same. Wilbur Fisk, William Capers, Martin Ruter, William McMahon and Fitch Reed were appointed a Committee to answer the letter received from the British Conference.
The bishops were authorized to ordain to the episcopacy any elder whom the Canada Conference should, previously to the next General Conference, elect to the office of bishop in that Conference. They were also authorized to appoint any of the preachers to colleges not under the direction of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and to continue him in that relation the same as in institutions of learning controlled or patronized by us.
The address to the British Conference, prepared by the committee appointed for this purpose, was read and adopted. The Committee on Revisals reported sundry changes in the Discipline, which were adopted; Cincinnati was chosen as the place for holding the next General Conference; and on the 28th day of the month, the Conference adjourned.
Monday, May 2. The sessions were held in Wesley Chapel on Fifth street. This was the largest church in the city, having an audience capacity for one thousand persons. It was also the oldest church of Methodism in Cincinnati, the society having been organized in 1804. In the little graveyard in the rear slept the remains of some of the pioneer preachers. The old-time hospitality had not died out, and there was no difficulty in finding places of entertainment for all of the delegates and visiting brethren.
One hundred and fifty delegates were in attendance, and all except four were present at the opening. During the quadrennium Bishops McKendree and Emory had died, and Bishop Roberts presided during the preliminary exercises. Thomas L. Douglass was elected secretary and Thomas B. Sargent assistant. Later in the session, John A. Collins was also made an assistant secretary. Rules of order were then adopted.
By a resolution of the Conference, the bishops were requested to deliver, at their convenience, during the session discourses on the death of their colleagues, McKendree and Emory. In compliance with this request, Bishop Soule preached a funeral sermon concerning Bishop McKendree, and Bishop Roberts concerning Bishop Emory. Both discourses were requested for publication. Bishop Soule stated that all the papers of Bishop McKendree had, by his last will and testament, come into his hands, and suggested that the Conference take some action in relation to them, and direct that a memoir of his life be published and an inscription be prepared for his tomb. On motion Bishop Soule was requested to write both.
. The bishop never found time to prepare the memoir, and the Life of Bishop McKendree was not written until many years subsequently.
An address from the British Conference was presented and read on the second day of the session, but to a large number of the members it was distasteful on account of its references