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copies, for the use of the Conference, and for general distribution. A substitute for the report was laid on the table, and ordered to be printed. But these reports were not again acted on; so the rule on slavery was left unchanged, and the Chapter on Slavery was modified by omitting the paragraphs allowing presiding elders to hold quarterly conferences for colored preachers, and authorizing the bishops to employ colored preachers where their exclusive services are judged necessary. These provisions are inserted, however, elsewhere in the Discipline for 1856.
The Book Agents were directed to sell to local preachers, for their own use, books and periodicals at the same discount that they allow to traveling preachers.
The secretary of the Conference was authorized to edit the Journal of its proceedings, and to supervise its publication by the Book Concern at New York, and the agents were directed to remunerate him suitably for this service.
The election for General Conference officers resulted as follows: Book Agents, in New York, Thomas Carlton and James Porter; in Cincinnati, Leroy Swormstedt and Adam Poe; Editors, Christian Advocate and Journal, Abel Stevens; Western Christian Advocate, Calvin Kingsley; Northern, F. G. Hibbard; Pittsburgh, Isaac N. Baird; Northwestern, James V. Watson; National Magazine and Tracts, James Floy; Quarterly Revieu, Daniel D. Whedon; Ladies' Repository, Davis W. Clark; Christliche Apologete, William Nast; Sunday-school Advocate and Books, Daniel Wise; and Secretary of the Missionary Society, John P. Durbin.
The Book Agents were instructed to publish a weekly paper in San Francisco, and in case a transfer of the California Christian Advocate now published in that city can be obtained on reasonable terms, they were authorized to adopt that paper.
The Book Agents were directed to establish papers at St. Louis and in Oregon, and to adopt those already printed for the Church as private enterprises, under the titles of the Central Christian Advocate and the Pacific Christian Advocate. For the former of these Joseph Brooks was elected editor, and for the latter Thomas H. Pearne. For the California Christian Advocate, Eleazer Thomas was elected editor.
The Committee on Episcopacy reported that it was inexpedient to recommend any addition to the number of bishops. The Committee on Lay Delegation reported that any change in our economy relating to the constitution of the Annual and General Conferences is inexpedient at the present time.
The Conference confirmed the election of Colson Hieskell and T. K. Collins as trustees of the Chartered Fund, and returned a vote of thanks to the trustees for the wisdom and faithfulness with which they have discharged their duty.
The Constitution of the Missionary Society was revised, and provision was made for a missionary bishop, to reside in the particular mission field assigned to him, his episcopal functions being limited to that field. As this action required a change in the Third Restrictive Rule, the matter was ordered to be referred for their sanction to the several annual conferences. In the expectation that the annual conferences would vote for this change, the Liberia conference was authorized to select some suitable member of that conference, to be presented for ordination as missionary bishop in this country during the interim of the General Conferences. This alteration in the restrictive rule being sanctioned by the annual conferences, in the year 1858, Francis Burns, a member of the Liberia conference elected by that conference, was ordained a missionary bishop for Liberia. This change of the restrictive rule was not included in the Discipline until 1868.
The Committee on Expenses of Delegates reported a deficiency of $3,451.10 in the collections, which was ordered to be paid out of the funds of the Book Concern. Replies to the addresses of the British, Canadian, Irish, and French Conferences, and to the Congregational Union of England and Wales, were read and adopted.
Appeals from the action of annual conferences were heard and disposed of as follows: Eli Denniston, New York, reversed; L. D. Harlan, Cincinnati, affirmed; D. J. Snow, Illinois, remanded; I. N. McAbee, Pittsburgh, reversed; J. M. Snow, Wisconsin, remanded; Oliver Burgess, North Ohio, dismissed; John Demming, Erie, dismissed; Nehemiah Stokely, New Jersey, reversed. Much time had always been consumed in both the General and the annual conferences in the hearing of appeals. The bishops had heretofore suggested some plan by which this could be remedied, but no action had been taken. This year, however, the General Conference adopted the following paragraph, which is embodied in the Discipline:
"The General Conference may try appeals from members of an annual conference who may have been censured, suspended, expelled, or located without their consent, by a committee embracing not less than fifteen of its members, nor more than one member from each delegation, who, in the presence of a bishop presiding, and one or more of the secretaries of the Conference keeping a faithful record of all the proceedings had, shall have full power to hear and determine the case, subject to the rules and regulations which govern the said Conference in such proceedings; and the records made and the papers submitted in such trials shall be presented to the Conference, and be filed and preserved with the papers of that body.”
Sundry changes were made in the Discipline. Baptized children were to be placed under special guardianship by the Church; Bible Society agents were recognized as in the regular work of the ministry, and might be appointed to this service for more than two years; the widows and orphans of deceased bishops authorized to draw their allowance from the Book Concern the same as the bishops; the rules respecting band-societies eliminated; preachers might remain in a city more than four years, though not in the same charge; college appointments were recognized as part of the regular work of a preacher; the ratio of representation in the General Conference fixed at the limit of one delegate for every forty-five members of an annual conference (to be referred to the annual conferences, as being a change in the second Restrictive Rule); the section on Dress changed, by omitting specifications and exhorting the people to conform to the spirit of the Apostolic precept; the education of colored youth commended to public favor; and tracts on slavery to be printed by the Tract Society.
Buffalo was selected as the place for holding the next General Conference. William L. Harris was appointed to edit the new edition of the Discipline, and the Conference adjourned a few minutes after midnight of June 3d.
THE General Conference met this year in St. James Hall
in the city of Buffalo. Bishops Morris, Janes, Scott, Baker, and Ames were present at the opening session. Bishop Simpson came in the next morning, having been detained by sickness in his family. Two hundred and six delegates presented their certificates of election and were admitted to seats. A few delegates came in later, the whole number entitled to membership in the Conference being two hundred and twenty-one. William L. Harris was elected secretary, and Benjamin Griffen, William Cox, Edward Cooke, Asahel N. Fillmore, and Jonathan T. Crane were chosen assistant secretaries.
Standing committees, to consist of one member from each of the annual conferences, to be appointed by the several delegations, were ordered as follows: On Episcopacy, Itinerancy, Boundaries, Slavery, Book Concern, Missions, Education, Lay Delegation, Sunday-schools, Revisals, and Tract Cause. Special committees were also ordered, on Rules of Order, Expenses of Delegates, Bible Cause, Temperance, Temporal Economy, Pastoral Address, New Arrangement of the Discipline, Divorce and Marriage, Correspondence with Sister Churches, Christian Union, Centenary of American Methodism, Colored Membership, and other matters, as occasion arose.
During the preceding quadrennium, Bishop Waugh had gone to his eternal reward. He died February 9, 1858. In their episcopal address to the Conference, the bishops mention the death of their late colleague, and give the names of twelve members of the last General Conference who had also died in the Lord. On motion of John S. Porter it was resolved that the bishops be respectfully requested to select one of their number to preach a memorial discourse, during the session of the Conference, and also to prepare an obituary notice of Bishop Waugh, the latter to be entered on the journal of the Conference. In accordance with this resolution, Bishop Morris delivered the funeral sermon on Friday, May 11th, and the bishops prepared the obituary notice, which is inserted in the journal for May 15th. Bishop Morris was requested to furnish his sermon for publication.
Committees to try appeals were appointed, consisting of fifteen members each, over whom one of the bishops was to preside. By these committees the following appeal cases were determined: A. Wright, of North Ohio, reversed; G. C. Creevey, of New York East, reversed; W. H. Sheets, of South East Indiana, remanded; G. C. Holmes, of Rock River, reversed; C. W. Batchellor, of Rock River, remanded; 0. F. Morse, of Wyoming, remanded; J. W. Wood, of Wisconsin, affirmed; A. S. Wightman, of Black River, affirmed, and P. H. Smith, of Troy, remanded.
A committee of seven, consisting of D. W. Clark, Joseph Holdich, Francis Hodgson, F. G. Hibbard, John T. Mitchell, L. D. Barrows and Edward Cooke were appointed to consider and report on the amendment of our Rituals which were proposed by the Committee on Revision of Rituals appointed by the General Conference at its last session, these amendments being now in their hands. When the committee made their report, it was on motion of Henry Slicer recommitted to the committee, with instruction to report at an early day to the next General Conference; and on motion of A. M. Osbon, the agents of the Book Concern in New York were directed to forward to each member of the present and the succeeding General Conference a printed copy of the Revised Ritual. The revisions consisted chiefly in the introduction of forms for the laying of corner-stones of churches, dedicating houses of worship and the reception of probationers into full membership. A few verbal changes were suggested in the rituals for ordination and the administration of the sacraments.
The Committee on Temporal Economy was instructed to inquire into the expediency of so changing the Discipline that the bishops should be supported by direct contributions of our people, as are the other ministers in the regular work. The committee, after carefully considering the matter, deemed it, for the present at least, impracticable, and reported that the bishops should receive their support from the funds of the Book Concern, and were therefore authorized to draw upon the Book Agents for the amounts allowed them, and also for