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bath of October 1869; for Foreign Mission Fund, on second Sabbath of March 1870; and for Hall and Synod Fund, on fourth Sabbath of April 1870. As the collection in behalf of the last mentioned Scheme is this year of a more special nature than usual, the Clerk of Synod is instructed to send to each of the Congregations, about two weeks previously to the collection, an intimation of the same, with the reasons for bringing it specially before the Church.
The Clerks of Presbyteries, with the Clerk of Synod, Convener, were appointed a Committee on Bills and Overtures. Synod enjoin that all papers for the Committee be in the hands of the Convener ten clear days before the meeting of Synod.
The Treasurer (R. G. Finlay, Esq.) gave in his Report. The Report was adopted. The following gentlemen were appointed a Committee to audit all the accounts in Mr Finlay's hands, viz.:-Messrs William Symington, John Alexander, and James Guthrie,-Mr Alexander, Convener.
The following Minute, in reference to the resignation of the Treasurer, is laid upon the table by the Committee appointed to prepare such a document:
"In accepting of the resignation of Mr Finlay, the Synod cannot but express their regret that he has felt it necessary to take this step, while at the same time they fully appreciate the grounds on which he has formed his determination, and the spirit which has characterised it. They feel constrained, moreover, to record their unanimous testimony on behalf of the singularly efficient manner in which, for a quarter of a century, Mr Finlay has discharged the duties of his office as Treasurer to this Synod. During that period the demands made on his time and attention by the varied and increasing financial interests of the Church,-involving the most anxious and careful arrangements, and very considerable correspondence, -have been met by him with such a degree of readiness, cheerfulness, and ability, as has gained for him the respect, affection, and gratitude of all who have had an opportunity of judging of his labours. It is not merely the great accuracy and faithfulness which has marked his management of the moneys handled by him, that the Court feel called upon to commend, but also, and especially, the warm and generous interest he has ever manifested in the prosperity of the Church, in relation to all her undertakings, and particularly to her Foreign Missions, and the uniform Christian courtesy and kindness with which his official intercourse with others has been conducted. In dissolving this relation, which has been hallowed by so many solemn and interesting associations, the members of Synod earnestly desire and pray that their beloved friend and brother may be blessed with the enjoyment of continued happiness, temporal and spiritual
, and be honoured with growing usefulness in the Church of Christ, and that, when his work on earth is accomplished, he may receive the reward of the righteous, even an everlasting memorial.”
The Clerk of Synod is instructed to forward a copy of this Minute to Mr Finlay.
The Committee next reported as to the appointment of a successor to Mr Finlay. They state that they had agreed to recommend for that important office Thomas Binnie, Esq.* Synod unanimously adopt the recommendation of the Committee, and request Mr Binnie to undertake the office of their Treasurer. Mr Binnie expresses himself as honoured by the request of Synod, but states at he cannot see his way clear to acceptance of the office. Synod request Mr Binnie to reconsider his decision ; and defer any further action in the matter till the sederunt of to-morrow forenoon,
* Address-- T. Binnie, Esq., 1 Nicholson Street, Glasgow.
The Secretary of the Ministerial Support Committee gave in his Report, which was received, with thanks to the Committee and Convener.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON MINISTERIAL SUPPORT. The Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Ministerial Support Committee, which has now to be submitted, will be very brief. During the past year no change was made upon the principles for regulating the grants which were adopted two years ago, and submitted to and approved by Synod at its last meeting. The only changes which fall to be reported are administrative, resulting from the altered circumstances of congregations. These have been exceptionally numerous. Two of the congregations formerly receiving grants have ceased to require them. These congregations are Douglas-Water and Whithorn, the ministers of which now receive the minimum stipend without aid from this fund. Two congregations, Kelso and Lesmahagow, have been dissolved; and two charges, Rothesay and Dundee, have been vacant during the year. The congregation in Ayr, the claims of which were previously overlooked, through some defect in the information supplied to us, has now been added to our list, and received a small grant.
The changes were, upon the whole, such as very considerably to diminish the charge upon our funds. In the year 1867–68 the grants amounted to £400. In the year now reported on they only amounted to £295. The balance of the previous year's contributions remaining on hand at May last, and the ordinary contributions then received, were quite sufficient to enable the Committee to meet all claims; and although it is probable that during the coming year some of the charges now vacant will be filled up, and the demands upon our funds correspondingly increased, it is hoped that the ordinary income will prove sufficient to meet the increased expenditure. There would be no doubt upon this point, were we all to realise, as we should, the importance of the object at the time the annual collection is made. Were the work of this Committee interrupted, we do not see how several of our congregations could be maintained. Humanly speaking, three of our congregations depend on this fund for their continued existence; and several others, without the aid derived from the fund, would be seriously crippled.
The Committee is keeping in view the desirability of endeavouring to raise still further the minimum stipend, and will not fail to make a fresh movement in this direction so soon as it is thought likely that such an effort will be attended with success. At present, the depressing effects of long-continued commercial stagnation forbid such a hope, and make us feel thankful that we have been enabled, without any difficulty, to continue our operations as during the previous year.
The Committee was reappointed—to consist of the following members : -Revs. George Clazy, John Torrance, David Taylor, John M'Dermid, William Symington, and John Hamilton; with Messrs John Robertson, Thomas Rowatt, R. G. Finlay, Matthew Fairley, and William Strang,– John Robertson, Esq., Convener, and William Strang, Esq., Secretary.
A Petition from the Congregation of Rothesay, requesting that pecuniary aid should be given them from any of the funds under the control of Synod, so that a minister might be settled among them, was laid upon the table, and read.
A Reference from Presbytery of Edinburgh anent Petition from Dundee Congregation for moderation of a call, was taken up. Extracts of Minutes of Edinburgh Presbytery, and the above mentioned Petition, were read.
It was agreed that the Petition of the Congregation Rothesay be remitted to the Home Mission Committee, with instructions, that whatever assistance be rendered to the Congregation shall come from that Fund; and that the Petition of the Congregation of Dundee be remitted to the Ministerial Support Committee, and assistance to the Congregation be granted from their funds; and that the Committee deal with Dundee on the ground of a special and exceptional case.
The Report of the Hall Committee was read by the Convener (Rev. WILLIAM ŠYMINGTON), as also Draft of an Address to the Youth of the Church.
REPORT OF HALL COMMITTEE.
The last Session of Hall met on Tuesday, 20 June, and terminated on July 24 of last year. There were seventeen regular students in attendance. (Their names will be found in the “Reformed Presbyterian Magazine" for July 1868, p. 243.)
There were also in attendance on the lectures by the Professors two students from Hungary—Francis Barath and Gustavus Nagy.
On the day of the opening of the Hall the students were examined on the usual subjects of intersessional study, and, according to the reports of the examiners, acquitted themselves most satisfactorily. One or two of the students, from a variety of circumstances, were not present on the opening day. Their absence was accounted for, and excused by the Committee. The opening lecture was delivered by Professor Binnie, on “The Rule of Faith.” In the department of Systematic Theology, Professor Binnie delivered twenty-four lectures in the second year of his course), on the Doctrine of the Trinity, the Creation of Man, the Moral Relations of Man, and the Doctrine of Sin. The students were also examined on certain relative chapters in Hodge's “Outlines.” The students attended with very great regularity. Eight were never absent a single hour during the Session ; other three were only absent once. All the Vacation Exercises were given in, except by one student, and in that case there were satisfactory reasons given for their absence.
In the department of Biblical Criticism and Church History, Professor Goold delivered twenty-six lectures, on the Types, and on Quotations in the New Testament from the Old. He also delivered eight lectures in Church History. There were five written examinations held on the subjects of study. The students also read, and were examined on portions of the Greek New Testament, and on all the Songs of Degrees. Prayermeetings were regularly kept up by the students. Two prizes, one of two guineas, and one of one guinea, were given to students who, by the votes of their fellow-students, excelled in reading the English Scriptures.
Both of the Professors reported their lively satisfaction with the conduct of the students, who acquitted themselves on all occasions with the utmost propriety, and in a manner befitting their position as students of theology, and as looking forward to being engaged in the solemo work of the Christian ministry.
As to the Theological Library connected with the Hall, the energetic and careful librarian reported, that when the Hall opened 151 books were out of the Library, 36 of these being in the hands of ministers; and that 24 volumes had been added to the Library since last report. The INCOME was-From the Students,
£17 17 0. The EXPENDITURE was- -Students' Fees,
£4 5 0 Welsh Bequest,
2 0 0 Librarian's Salary,
2 0 0
8 5 0
Paid to Dr Goold, as Treasurer,
£9 12 0
Taking into account arrears from last year, there are now due to the treasurer about
11. The ordinary income of the library is inadequate at present to meet this deficiency. Their income is almost wholly needed for the serial works received into the Library, such as the new edition of Calvin, Clark’s Theological Library, etc. ;" and therefore the Committee would take leave to suggest to the Synod the propriety of making a grant to meet this deficiency, or of adopting some plan by which it might be met.
The Committee have to thank the following, ministers, who kindly supplied the Professors' pulpits during the Session of Hall, viz. :-At Stirling -Messrs Martin, J. Naismith, R. Naismith, M. G. Easton. At Edinburgh -Messrs White, Edgar, Kay, Paton, Milroy, and MʻKenna.
The next Session of Hall commences on Tuesday, 1st June, at 12 o'clock. The Introductory Lecture to be delivered by Dr Goold. The Committee meets on the same day, at 11.30 A.M. ·
The Draft of an Address to the Youth of the Church, on devoting themselves to the ministry, was submitted by the Convener, and unanimously approved by Synod, and ordered to be printed and circulated.*
The Report was adopted; and Synod express their hearty gratitude to the Convener for the admirable Paper which he has laid upon the table ; and the Committee is instructed to see that it be circulated throughout the families of the Church. The Committee was reappointed, consisting of the Professors, with Revs. William Symington, M. G. con, Thomas Martin, John H. Thomson, James Morrison, John Hamilton, and John M‘Dermid,-Rev. William Symington, Convener,
The Report of the Committee on Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund (Rev. WILLIAM SYMINGTON, Convener) was laid upon the table, and read.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE OF AGED AND INFIRM MINISTERS' FUND.
At last meeting of Synod, when the Report of this Committee was given in, it was followed up by a “suggestion," which met with the approval of Synod, and the carrying out of which was devolved on the Committee, to the following effect:
“That as it appears additional demands on this Fund are now being made, with a view to its increase and stability, it should henceforth assume
* This Address, from the pressure of other matter, we must hold over to another number.
the form of a Fund,' to which, as designed for their special benefit, the ministers, in the first instance, be expected annually to contribute, supplemented, however, by the membership of the Church at large; it being understood, that after existing claims are met the surplus raised each year should be allowed to accumulate, with the view of meeting, without additional effort, future claims that may arise."
As it appeared from this suggestion that it was the mind of Synod to have this Scheme placed on a somewhat different footing from that which it had previously occupied, it seems to be proper at this time to recall to the minds of brethren, the circumstances in which the Fund originated, and the principle on which it has hitherto been managed.
It originated in a recommendation embodied in the Report of the Ministerial Support Committee for 1865, and the suggestion then made was,
that an effort should be made to raise a Capital Fund of £1000. On more mature consideration this idea was departed from; and in the first Report of the Committee of the Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund, submitted to Synod in the following year (1866), it was stated, that “for various reasons it was thought unadvisable, in present circumstances, to make an effort to raise such a Capital Fund; and that the object for which the Committee had been appointed would be better accomplished by the collection from members of the Church, from year to year, of such a sum as might be needed to meet present emergencies.”
This mode of procedure was unanimously approved by the Synod as the best under the circumstances, and on this principle the Committee have acted up to last year, when new claims came under consideration. Sufficient funds were obtained, during these years, to enable the Committee to carry out the arrangement which had been entered into with the Congre gation of Port-Glasgow. At last Synod, the recommendation from the Presbytery of Paisley as to Mr Neilson of Rothesay, and the Memorial from Port-Glasgow, were also remitted to this Committee, “ with instructions to make what provision they deem meet in the meantime, and to report that provision to next meeting of Synod."
Your Committee, accordingly, have now to report that all these instructions have been duly complied with. In July of last year, a Circular was prepared and issued, in name of the Committee, to all the ministers of our Church, representing the claims of this Fund on their support. The appeal thus made was very generally responded to, and the result has been, that contributions have been received from the ministers to the amount of £46 : 19s. From other friends (not ministers) we have obtained subscriptions or donations to the amount of £104: 28.—in all, £151 : ls. Grants were made, during the past year, to Rev. Thomas Neilson, of £50, and to Rev. William M‘Lachlan, of £40. Deducting these sums, there now remains a balance in hand of £61 : 1s.
Seeing that this Scheme is likely to assume a more permanent form, it is the opinion of the Committee that this balance should now be paid into the hands of the Synod's Treasurer, Mr R. G. Finlay; and that henceforward all contributions intended for its support should be payable to him, and all authorised grants from it pass through his hands. In addition to his invaluable services in connection with other Schemes, Mr Finlay has kindly