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the happiness of laying their communications before our readers; and, in the meantime, we indulge the hope, that much good may arise out of the intercourse. sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." While the Synod appeared indifferent to the deadly heresies that had crept into her communion, she was frowned upon by the Christian churches of other countries, and would soon justly have become an outcast from their fellowship; but since she has roused herself from her lethargy, and stood forth as a witness for the truth, the countenance of Christendom begins to shine upon her--the hand of Christian fellowship is stretched out to congratulate her, and she is invited to join her counsels with the followers of the Lamb in other places, for mutual encouragement and support. To the members of the Synod it must be peculiarly gratifying to know, that the Overtures for purifying the ministry of our church, so obnoxious to the enemies of the truth in this country, have called forth the unqualified approbation of the wise and good in other lands. In some letters that have been received by us, an anxious desire has been expressed that similar measures might be adopted by other churches. And we should not wonder if the Synod of Ulster, which had once fallen so low, should thus become an example to others, and her measures be followed by many for the purification of the ministry in the Churches of Christ.
II.“ Overtured and agreed to, That it appears highly expedient to unite the Synod's Home Mission and the Presbyterian Society for Ireland, under the name of the “Presbyterian Missionary Society," in connexion with the General Synod of Ulster; that its object be, the revival and ex. tension of vital religion, especially among Presbyterians in Ireland; by disseminating the pure principles of the Gospel, through the agency of faithful and active Missionaries, preaching and instructing from house to louse, in districts destitute of a Gospel ministry ; -by sending out Scripture Readers and Catechists of picty and intelligence ; -by circulating publications, exposing error, and maintaining and enforcing evangelical truth; by assisting infant and weak congregations in support of the Gospel ;-by bringing forward young men of talent and devotedness to the ministry; and by every other means suited to counteract and remove the ignorance, error, and deadness which unhappily prevail amongst our population.”
To the Presbyterian public it must hitherto have appeared an unaccountable circumstance to find two societies professing to have the same object, both under the direction of the members of the Synod, the one connected with it, and the other not, we mean the Synod's Home Mission, and the Presbyterian Society for Ireland. This, however,
necessarily arose out of the unhappy situation of the Synod at the time. The Home Mission was entirely un. der the Synod's controul; and while Arians or Socinians were allowed to be its members, to them, as well as to others, had it to render an account of its proceedings. Thus a society having for its object the dissemination of the truth, was accountable to men some of whom were the enemies of the truth. By many members of the Synod this was felt to be inconsistent, irksome, and unjustifiable; and hence the formation of the Presbyterian Society for Ireland, under the appearance of an independent and rival institution. But now that the affairs of the Synod have undergone a bappy revolution, and trath has gained the ascendency, the necessity for a separate and independent society has ceased, and the two institutions have cordially united, under the title of the “ Presbyterian Missionary Society.” In this measure, we doubt not, the Synod will have the concurrence of its friends throughout the country. And we trust that, in this case, the adage will be proved true, union is strength.
The propriety of such a society in the Synod, will at once be acknowledged and felt by all who have ever attended to the Scriptural constitution of the Christian church. The church is manifestly a missionary institution It is an association of Christians, in the name of Christ, for their own edification and the extension of their prin. ciples. And, from the beginning, it will be found that the spirit of missionary zeal in the church, has been a sure criterion of its internal prosperity. The pulse of missionary life beats in exact proportion to the health and vigour of the spiritual character. To take an example from the history of our own church: when first our fathers settled in the land, they were borne by the impulse of missionary zeal from.country to country, and place to place, nor did they rest from preaching far and wide the unsearchable riches of Christ, till the entire province, which they seemed to have adopted as the scene of their labours, was supplied with an effective ministry. At that period error was unknown among them. In a later age, when worldly progperity had increased, carelessness began to creep in among them, error was making silent progress, and in the course of time, the church appeared to have fallen into a complete lethargy. For nearly one hundred years it appeared altogether to have lost its missionary character. In all that time new erections were comparatively few; and during that time was the reign of error. If ever Arianism was dominant in the church, and if ever spiritual deadness seized upon it and paralyzed its energies, it was at the period alluded to; and it is an incontrovertible fact, that error and apathy went hand in hand, and kept pace with each other. In our own times, since zeal has been revived for maintaining the doctrines of the cross, it has shown itself also in exertions to propagate-them. More has been done to promote the preaching of the word, in a few years, than had been done for nearly a century before. And the passing of the Overtures for the maintenance of truth in the body, has been accompanied with the establishment of the Presbyterian Missionary Society," in connexion with the General Synod of Ulster; yet not accountable to the Synod as a church court, but to those Ministers and Elders who become its members,
III.“ Overtured and agreed to, That a fund be established for assisting in the protection of the properties of our congregations, and the rights and privileges of our Ministers and people, and that it be denominated, The Synod of Ulster's Protection Fund.''
Alas! that in these times such a measure should be found necessary! But the Synod have been forced to it. In Ballycarry, Grey-Abbey, Carncastle, Templepatrick, and Warren point, the Remonstrants have carried off the congregational property, in which all the people belonging to the congregations had an equal interest. In none of these places would they allow a poll to be taken, that it might be known how the property should be divided. Had a fair poll been taken, and had the people been fairly dealt with, we have reason to believe that in them all a large majority would have remained with the Synod.--Even managed as the affair was, with all possible unfair. ness, the majority remains with the Synod in some of the places Yet one farthing has never been allowed to the in, jared people. The present Ministers have been permitted to enjoy the Regium Donum--the houses of worship have been exclusively claimed by Remonstrants,--and the Or, thodox people must submit to be robbed of all their rights because they have dared to think for themselves, and believe the Gospel. We have heard of persecution and imposi. tion, and fine stories bave been told of men being duped and imposed upon, but God knows who have been thus guilty, and the perseouted people at the places we have named know. Wben, in a late conference with the Re. monstrant Ministers, it was required that they should give our people some compensation for their loss, one of them replied, that if any man would prove how much money he or bis forefathers gave to the erection of the Meetingbouse, it shoald be repaid to him. This was an acknowledgment that a debt was justly due to the people, yet coupled with a cunning artifice to evade the payment of it; for we question whether any man in any of the congregations would have the means of proving how much his forefathers may bave given to the building of their church, though they should have paid the whole amount. Nor is this the only kind of injury done to our people. They have been abused and vilified, and every possible obstruction has been cast in their way. Some of the purest characters in society have been represented to the world as the vilest miscreants; and one sweeping sentence of condemnation has been pronounced against a whole society, because they dared to withdraw from an unprofitable ministry. At Grey-Abbey, where Ministers were appointed to preach to the Orthodox people in a house provided for the purpose, letters were written in the pame of the Clerk of the Committee there, to some of the Ministers who were to officiale, informing them that it was unnecessary for them to come for reasons that were assigned. Such forgeries were written to Mr. Orr, of Portaferry, and to Mr. M'Auley, of Donagbadee, that thus they might be induced to disappoint' the people. Many similar cases might be recorded, but we forbear. We have said enough to let the Presbyterian public see how much credit is due to heavy accusations made against injured and persecuted men, who are not supposed to have any method of defending themselves. The day is coming when the world shall see that the injuries inflicted by the Remonstrants bear generally a tolerable proportion to the cry that they have made of having been injured. We are happy to be able to inform our readers, that our friends have generally boine injuries with great meekness and forbearance. In some places "they have taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods.” In them all they are maintaining their ground with steadfastness. At GreyAbbey and at Ballycarry sites have been proeu red, subscriptions raised, and new Meeting-houses for the Orthodox congregations are in a state of forwardness. In the other places similax measures will be adopted as soon as it is judged prudent. We trust when these injured people bring their cause before the public, as they intend doing, they will meet with a warm and generous support. And we do not fear but an enlightened public, as their minds are disabused of the grossest misrepresentations, will come forward to maintain the cause of truth and righteousness.
IV. "Overtured and agreed to, That annual addresses to our people, on the great doctrines, privileges, and duties of vital religion, be resumed.”
In what a state must the Synod have been when, for the sake of
peace, such addresses were discontinued! Thank God that day is past. And our people may now expect to be annually addressed on the great subjects that concern their peace, by those who are appointed to watch for their souls.
V. “Overtured and agreed to, That the Theological Examination Committee be empowered to draw up a plan for annual statistical returns to Synod, from Congregations and Presbyteries."
The design of this arrangement is to bring the internal state of congregations before the notice of the Synod. The Synod are accountable to God for every congregation under their care, and they desire to be accurately informed of the state of religion in each, that, by the exercise of wholesome discipline, what is evil may be remedied, and what is good may be cherished and strengthened. The plan proposed is one that has been suggested by a worthy Elder, that a printed list of questions shall be directed to the Minister and Session of each congregation, by the answers to which it shall be distinctly learned how far the duties, both of Minister and people, are faithfully discharged. To all who are interested for the prosperity of Zion, such a plan must at once approve itself. And if it is opposed by any, it must be by those who do not desire that the real state of their .congregations should be known. Too long have the congregations of the Synod been falling into a species of independency. They were beginning to consider themselves separate societies, wholly uncon. nected with one another. Presbyterianism was rapidly approaching to the grave into which it has sunk in England, where the mere name remains as an inscription upon a tombstone to tell of the death and rottenness that repose below. But a better spirit begins to be infused. Congregations are learning to consider themselves as one