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dered to be inserted in a new edition of Emory's "History of the Discipline," and published also in pamphlet form.
The printed Journal of the General Conference, substantially bound and duly certified by the secretary to be correct, was made the official Journal. The resolutions of the General Conference of 1836, censuring certain of its members for publicly speaking against the great evil of slavery, were rescinded and pronounced void; and the secretary was directed to transmit to the parties themselves, if living, or, if not, to their families, certified copies of this action.
The Western Book Agents were authorized to publish the New Orleans Advocate (the Southwestern), if the annual loss should not exceed two thousand dollars, and to establish and publish, at Atlanta, Knoxville, or Nashville, a weekly religious paper, with the same limitations as to loss. The agents in New York were also authorized to publish a paper at Charleston, S. C., on the same conditions.
A Board of Education was created, consisting of six ministers (two of them bishops) and six laymen, to become an incorporated body in New York City, and to administer funds given for the purpose, in promoting the cause of education in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The particular object is to aid young men preparing for the foreign missionary work, or for the ministry, and other students; to aid our theological schools; and to aid colleges, academies, and universities under the patronage of the Church. The second Sunday in June of each year was ordered to be observed as "Children's Day," and collections to be made in all our Sunday-schools for the benefit of the Children's Fund of this board. The Children's Fund was commenced during the centenary year, 1866, to assist meritorious Sunday-school scholars in obtaining a higher education; and these annual collections were ordered to be added thereto and separately invested.
Many memorials on the subject of lay representation in the General Conference were received and referred to the Committee on Lay Delegation. A report on the subject was made on May 29th, favoring lay delegation, and providing for the submission of an amendment to the second Restrictive Rule to the annual conferences, so as to authorize the introduction
of lay delegates. The report also provided that the question should be submitted to vote of all the laity of the Church; and if, in both the conferences of ministers and in the laity, the vote was in favor of lay delegation, then two lay delegates might be elected from each conference. The report contained the plan of electing lay delegates to the next General Conference, provisionally, on this contingency, and closed with this resolution:
"Resolved, That should a majority of votes cast by the people be in favor of lay delegation, and should three-fourths of all the members of the annual conferences present and voting thereon vote in favor of the above proposed change in the constitution of the Church, then the General Conference meeting in 1872 by the requisite two-thirds vote can complete the change, and lay delegates previously elected may then be admitted."
The report was adopted by a vote of two hundred and thirty-one to three; absent or not voting, eight.
A number of important changes were made in the Discipline. The number of annual conferences was increased from fifty-nine to seventy-one; a missionary jubilee, on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Missionary Society, April 4, 1869, was ordered, the occasion to be observed with devout thanksgiving and reminiscence, and voluntary offerings to be made for the express purpose of erecting a mission house in New York; commissioners were appointed to purchase ground and erect a building for the joint use of the Book Concern, Missionary Society, and connectional institutions in the city of New York, at a cost not to exceed one million of dollars; Book and Publishing Committees were appointed, and the following persons were elected as General Conference oficials: Book Agents-New York: Thomas Carlton, John Lanahan; Cincinnati: Luke Hitchcock, John M. Walden. EditorsChristian Advocate, Daniel Curry; Western Christian Advocate, Stephen M. Merrill; Quarterly Review, D. D. Whedon; Ladies' Repository, Isaac W. Wiley; Northwestern Christian Advocate, John M. Reid; Central, B. F. Crary; Pittsburgh, S. H. Nesbit; Northern, D. D. Lore; California, H. C. Benson; Pacific, Isaac Dillon; Sunday-school Advocate and Library Books, Daniel Wise; Sunday-school Journal and Books of Instruction, John H. Vincent; Christliche Apologete, William Nast. Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society, John P. Durbin; .First Assistant Secretary, William L. Harris; Second Assistant Secretary, to reside in the West (after two ballotings without result, the election was indefinitely postponed). Corresponding Secretary of the Church Extension Society, Alpha J. Kynett. Eleazer Thomas was elected Assistant Book Agent (New York), - to reside in San Francisco.
The secretary of the Conference was appointed to edit the Discipline; Brooklyn was chosen as the place for holding the next General Conference; and on the 2d day of June the Conference adjourned.
THIS year the General Conference met in the city of Brook
lyn, on sembling was the Academy of Music. Seventy-two conferences were represented; and at the organization of the Conference, two hundred and ninety delegates out of two hundred and ninety-two entitled to seats were in attendance. William L. Harris was elected secretary by acclamation. As the annual conferences had voted in favor of the admission of lay delegates to the General Conference, 4,915 of the preachers in favor and 1,597 against, according to the report of the bishops, thus making more than the necessary three-fourths' vote, and as the laity had also voted by a large majority in favor of lay representation, it only remained for the General Conference to complete the change in the Constitution of the Church, in order to admit the lay delegates who had been provisionally elected according to the plan submitted. After the report of the vote in the annual conferences had been read, Jesse T. Peck and others offered the following paper:
“WHEREAS, The General Conference at its session in Chicago in 1868 devised a plan for the admission of lay delegates as members of said General Conference, and recommended it to the godly consideration of our ministers and people; and .
"WHEREAS, A large majority of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church present and voting in accordance with the provisions of said plan voted in favor of lay delegation; and
"WHEREAS, Three-fourths of the members of the annual conferences voted in favor of the change of the Restrictive Rules proposed in said plan, for the purpose of making it lawful to admit to the General Conference lay delegates elected in accordance with said plan; therefore,
“Resolved, 1. By the delegates of the several annual conferences in General Conference assembled, that the change in the Restrictive Rules submitted by the General Conference and adopted by the required three-fourths of the members of the annual conferences voting thereon in accordance with the provisions of said plan, in the words following, to wit: (see Plan] be and hereby is adopted.
Resolved, 2. That said plan is hereby ratified and adopted, and declared to be in full force; and the lay delegates elected under it are hereby invited to take their seats as members of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, on their credentials now in the hands of the secretary.”
The following resolution was offered as a substitute for the first resolution, and passed by a vote of 283 ayes to
“Resolved, That this General Conference does hereby concur with the annual conferences in changing the Second Restrictive Rule, so as to read as follows:
“ 'They shall not allow of more than one ministerial representative for every fourteen members of an annual conference; nor allow of less than one for every forty-five, nor more than two lay delegates for any annual conference.''
On the second resolution of J. T. Peck and others, the Conference ordered a division of the question, so as to vote on so much of it as ratifies and adopts the "plan" of lay delegation. The vote resulted in 253 ayes and 36 nays. The first item of the resolution so adopted is in these words:
"Resolved, That the said plan is hereby ratified and adopte:1."
By this action, Answer 1 to the Question: "Who shall compose the General Conference, and what are the regulations and powers belonging to it?” was so changed as to read as it now stands in the Discipline, with only one or two verbal alterations.
Samuel A. W. Jewett submitted, as a substitute for the remaining portion of the resolution, a motion:
"That the roll of laymen whose certificates of election are in the hands of the secretary be now called, and that those persons who may be duly accredited be admitted to seats in this General Conference."
On this motion the votes were 288 ayes and one nay.
On motion, the preamble of J. T. Peck's resolutions was laid on the table, after which certificates of the election of one hundred and twenty-nine lay delegates by the several electoral conferences were presented, and all who were present were admitted to seats. Permission was granted to the laymen to express their sentiments on this occasion; and James Strong, of the Newark conference, submitted and read an address on