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Oneida, Columbia, Albany, Londonderry, Hudson, New York, Long Island, Jersey, New Brunswick, Philadelphia, New Castle, Carlisle, Baltimore, Redstone, Erie, Ohio, Lancaster, Hartford, Winchester, Hanover, Lexington, West-Lexington, Muhlenberg, Transylvania, Washington and Miami, have fully attended to the recommendations of the Assembly.
That no reports have been received from the Presbyteries of Hopewell, Union, Orange, Concord, South Carolina, Abingdon, and West Tennessee.
That although the reasons offered by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, were satisfactory to the Assembly, for not having heretofore complied with the recommendation of the Assembly, it is hereby earnestly recommended to the said Presbytery, to attend to this duty in future.
That from the information derived from the whole of the reports submitted on this subject, it appears, that there are at present thirty five young men of the description contemplated by the Assembly, under the care of the Presbyteries.
And that whereas comparatively few official written reports have been presented to the Assembly from the several Presbyteries on this subject, it is enjoined upon them in future to send written reports distinctly stating the exertions which they make from year to year.
The Committee to which was referred the Overture from the Presbytery of Baltimore, in the following words: viz." Are ministers without charges, constituent members of our church judicatures, and have they an equal voice with settled pastors, and ruling elders of congregations in ecclesiastical government?" reported; and their report being read and amended, was adopted, and is as follows: viz.
In the judgment of this Assembly, this question is answered affirmatively, chap. 9. sec. 2, of the form of government of the Presbyterian Church in these words: "A Presbytery consists of all the ministers, and one ru
ling elder from each congregation within a certain district."
The committee to which was referred the following question viz. "Ought Baptism, on the profession and promise of the master, to be administered to the children of slaves?" reported, and their report being amended was adopted, and is as follows: viz.
1st. That it is the duty of masters who are members of the church, to present the children of parents, in servitude to the ordinance of Baptism, provided they are in a situation to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, thus securing to them the rich advantages, which the Gospel provides.
2d. That it is the duty of Christ's ministers to inculcate this doctrine, and to baptize all children of this description, when presented to them by their masters.
The committee to which was referred the Overture from the Synod of New York and New Jersey, on forming classes of young people, for studying and reciting the Bible, reported; and their report, being read and amended, was adopted, and is as follows: viz.
That they consider this subject of great importance, and deserving the attention and earnest recommendation of the Assembly: therefore,
Resolved, 1st. That it be recommended, and it hereby is recommended earnestly, to the ministers and sessions, which are in connection with the General Assembly, to pay a special attention to this subject, and provide without delay for the stated instruction of the children and youth in the sacred scriptures, within their respective congregations.
2nd. That although the particular manner of instruction and recitation in the congregations, ought to be left to the discretion of their ministers and sessions respectively, yet as some degree of uniformity is desirable in a business of so much magnitude, it is recommended, as the most effectual means of promoting the knowledge of the
holy scriptures, that, in all our churches, classes be formed of the youth to recite the scriptures in regular order; that the recitations, if convenient, be as often as once a week, and from two to five chapters appointed for each recitation; that the youth may be examined on:
1st. The history of the world, but more especially of the Church of God, and of the heathen nations who were God's agents in accomplishing his purposes towards his Church.
2nd. Persons noted for their piety or ungodliness, and the effects of their example in promoting or injuring the best interests of mankind.
3d. Doctrines and precepts, or "what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of
4th. Positive ordinances, or the directions which God has given as to the way in which he is to be worshipped acceptably.
5th. The particular features of character of which the Spirit of God has given notice, both in wicked and good persons; in the last particularly regarding those who were types of Christ, and in what the typical resemblance consisted.
6th. The gradual increase from time to time of information concerning the doctrines contained in the scriptures; noting the admirable adaptation of every new revelation of doctrine to the increased maturity of the church. The nature of God's law, its immutability, as constituting an everlasting rule of right and wrong, the full and perfect illustration of its precepts given by Christ.
7th. The change which God has made from time to time in the positive ordinances, together with the reasons of that change. The difference between the moral law and those laws which are positive.
8th. The illustration of the divine perfections in the history, biography, doctrines and precepts, together with the positive ordinances of the scriptures.
9th. The practical lessons to regulate our conduct` in the various relations of life.
On all these particulars the meaning of the words used in scripture must be ascertained, that thus we may understand what we read.
Resolved, 3d. That the Presbyteries, under the care of the Assembly, be directed to take order on this subject; and they are hereby informed, that this is not to come in the place of learning the catechisms of our church, but be added to it, as an important branch of religious education.