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PRESBYTERIAN SYNOD., Issue 8050, 29 October 1889
The annual bees lon of the Presbyterian Synod of Dtago and Southland was opened in the First Church last svening, when the sermon was preached by the retiring moderator. ROU, OP SYNOD. The Synod roll was ns follows ■ , Prosbytcry of Dunedin,—-Ministers; Revs. W. Will, 1). M, Stuart, D.D., Professor Watt, M.A., Alexander Greig, M.A., J. M. Sutherland. IvLA,, James Kirkland, A. M. Fijalayson, R. R. M. Sutherland. R. Waddell, M.A., John Ryley, William Campbell, John Christie, David Borrie, James Gibb, Andrew Cameron, 8.A., J. M. M'KerroWj J. R. Porter, John Dunlop, D.D., J. GibsohSmith, D. Dutton, J. M. Frauer, A. Don. Eiders •> Messrs W. o&ffray, A. Cameron, J. Taylor. Marhleson, J. Findlay, A. l>!sno]i.v., A. Catherwood, D- Hood, J. Pa’ccrson, P. Sutherland, G. Reid, J. Sootc, W. Hutton, T. Somerville, Rev. J. Niven, Messis J. C. Hodges, J. Secular, D. A. MacNicoll, W. Alexander, D, Thomson, T. De Lacy. . Presbytery of Clutha.—Rev. W. Bannermao, John M» Allan, Jn'mes Chisholm, James Skinner, George, B. Ingiis,, J. Spence, George Hall, BAm A, M, Dalrymple, S, W. Chjirie, VV. J. McLaren, W. Scorgie, Joseph White, Isaac Jolly, and James Taylor. Elders: Messrs James Ingiis, D. Ross, A. D. Johnstone, Andrew Fleming, A. C. Begg, James Steven, John Runciman, William Dallas, K. Ramsay, J. Edie, sen., J. Edie, jun., D. Andrews, J. Brown.
Presbytery of Southland.—Revs. A. H, Stobo, Thomas Alexander, D, Ross, A. Stevens, J. M. Davidson, R-. Ewen, James Baird, J. Ferguson, J. H. Mackenzie, W. P. Brown, Andrew Mackay, Robert Wood, James Johnston, Thomas Neave, George Lindsay, Hugh Kelly, P. Ramsay, and James Blackie. Elders: Messrs William Hutchison, James Adam, D. L. Mathekon, M'William, Rev, A. Bethtane, William Sutton, L. Mail, Rev. J. Coplind, R. A., Lawson, A. Christie, and J. T. Mackerras, Presbytery of Oamaru. Revs. A. B. Todd, James Clark, P. S. Hay, J. Steven, Dr Macgregor, William Wright, J. A. Will, A. Bruce Todd, W. Nichol, Elders: Messrs J. Annand, J, A. Torraneo, G. Stringer, William Doig, D. Dunn, T. Robertson, and J. Strain, Presbytery of Dunstan,—Revs, K, Telford, J. M'Cosh Smith, M.A., 8.D., J. Lothian J. Henry, M.A., G. P. Hunter. Elders : Messrs E. B, Cargill and W. S. Fitzgerald. ELECTION OE MODERATOR. The retiring Moderator (the Rev. James Baird, of Winton) said: Fathers and brethren, my term of office now closes. The last year has been eventful from the number of meetings which the emergency of the hour have called forth, The duties, therefore, of the chair were somewhat more onerous. On leaving this chair I am anxious to cordially thank the Synod for the generous forbearance which they have extended towards me during my term of office. Though endeavoring to discharge the duties of the chair to the test of my ability, I am conscious that many imperfections have marred these duties. Casting myself upon the kind considerations of the Synod, many of them became pleasant. Only one duty now remains to me, and that is to nominate my successor to this honorable office. The minister I have to name is one who has seen considerable service in this church, and one who has seen a much longer period of honorable service in the mission field of the foreign missions of another church. I mean the Rev. George Hall, of Waihola. Mr Hall has labored amongst his present flock with much acceptance. He is, I may say, a hardworking, able minister, and though he has not, like many of us, taken a prominent part in the Courts of the church, I doubt not he Will fill the chair with credit to himself and with grace and gravity befitting the character of the Synod’s meeting. I now propose that the Rev. Mr Hall be elected moderator of this Synod.—(Applause,) The nomination Was assented to unanimously, and the Rev. George Hall was welcomed to office. THE MODERATOR’S ADDRESS.
Tho Moderator of Synod (the Rev. Mr Hal!) then delivered his address, from which we make the following extracts Fathers and Brethren,- 1 have now to thank you veiy cordially for the honor you have conferred on me in calling me to bo Moderator of this Syotd. This proof of your confidence I value very highly, and regard it as a recognition of the thirty years of labor as a missionary to the heathen, which preceded my conrng to Otago - not yet nine years ago. And at once I would bespeak your forbearance and he p, as the greater part of my life has been spent amongtheheathenio India, whcresuch meetings as the present cannot yet be held. I am more familiar with the institutes of Maou-the great Hindoo legislator—than with Moncrieffs rules for the guidance of church courts, and I trust you will bear with me and drect and help me at any time 1 should betray a lack of knowledge of your forms of proc.dure at this Synod. Let me now say that I desire to turn your thoughts for a little to the importance of cultivating a missionary spirit among our congregations in this land as one means of stimulating and advancing their own spiritual life. My own antecedents must be my excuse for selecting this subject In three months It will be forty years since I was ordained a missionary to the heathen, and for thirty years afterwards all my thoughts and energies were devoted to thfs work. When the failure of health mide it impossible for me to remain longer in India, and I sought a sphere of labor for Christ in this grand climate, I brought my missionary thoughts and feelings with me. 1 cannot shake them off as of no account i ow, and have felt it to be a doty ever sinel landed in Otago to embrace every opportunity for saying a word on behalf of missions to tho heathen. T know I need no 1 ; apologise for speaking on Ibis subject here. I am certain all present recognise its vast importance. Doubtless, when tho ecclesiastical history of this nineteenth century is written, Christians in every land will look back with thankfulness and j >y to the revival of the missionary cause as one of the most important features of this very wonderful century. Several years .ago I stood in a small room in the towii of Kettering, in Northamptonshire. In that room, on the 2nd October, 1792, twelve earnest Christian men met and discussed whether they should not try to send the Gospel t > the heathen. They resolved to make the attempt. A collection for this purpose was made, which amounted to Ll3 2s 6d—the harbinger of great sums of money since devoted to the same cause. It is said that L 2.250 000 jre annually contributed by Christians in Europe and America for missions. At that meeting Carey volunteered to go as the first missionary. Amid many difficulties he did a great work in India, and his name will bo held in everlasting honor by the Hindoo race. Now thereare said to be 7,000 missionary agents, male and female laboring among the heathen as tho messengers of the churches in Europe and America, and 3,000 Natives of heathen lands are ordained as ministers of the Gospel. It is stated thjt at this moment there are 3,000,000 of Native Christians won from heathenism, and that during the last recorded year of missionary labor 150,000 heathens were baptised. Truly the little one has become a thousand, ard a small one a strong nation, and this cause may well engage much of our attention at such a meeting as this. You are all aware that within tho last two or three years men of Christian character and high position have pronounced missions to be a failure, I will not enter on the general question, as the charge has been most fully refuted by others, but I cannot refrain here from briefly stating a little of my own expo isnee. In my youth I spent two years in the beautiful island of Jamaica In quest of health, and never have I seen more excellent Christians anywhere than among those who once were slaves in Jamaica. Missions have not been a failure there, At different times I have soon a good deal of missionary work both in E;ypt and Syria, and in Jerusalem itself have worshipped with a considerable Christian congregation. Though the blight of Mahojnmedanism has for ages been on their ancient and moat interesting lands the people are now becoming deeply interested in Christianity, and numbers both of Jews and Gentiles have openly professed their faith in Christ. I have also seen something of missionary work both in tho island of Ceylon and the kingdom of Burmah, and say without hesitation that it has not failed in these great lands cf the East. With regard to India, with its 300,000,000 of people, speaking at least twenty different languages, I can also moat confidently say missions have not been a failure. In spite of immense difficulties the Gospel has made great progress in India. When I landed there, nearly forty years ago, the Native Christians were comparatively few, and there were very few Native ministers of the Gospel. Now, we are told, there are 750,000 Native Protestant Christians, and 700 sons of the soil have been ordained to the ministry of the Gospel among
their countrymen. No doubt much missionary labor in India hits been for the future. The seed sown will yet spring up and bear fruit. With a knowledge of India, derived from nbarty thirty years spent as a missionary, thSi-'e’,,.l say without fear of contradiction that Indian misaioushavo ■ Guchje .rhy"ioaviCt;ou, from what I have of the mission field with which I am acquainted, aid doubtless the same may be said of every other heathen land where the Gospel has been made known, I believe that, in view of tbo:resulto in every land, we may well thank God and t.rke courage; and to have some port in such a work is well worthy the attention and energy of ollr yollng and V'goroUS church in this land,
And what may we expect to be the result to ottr church here, and ia our several congregations, if they take an intelligent, ardent, and practical interest in missionary work ? Will this so absorb their sympathies and energies as to have an injurious effect-on Christian wo k, cither among themselves or in other districts of this land ? I believe the very reV rso will be the ca' e, for 1 a in convinced that missionary seal in the church fit Home Invariably reafcVs on her own self-interest AM promotes her highest I'rospenty. From what I have seen 1 Am convinced that missionary zeal . h;a a poWeifal effect in .strengthening ipintual life in congregations in a Chii tian laud Whih laboring in India—like all Europeans in that trying climate—l had to go. every t n years to our native land, and remain there for a year at least. During mjr first two furloughs to the Old Country my health was comparatively good, and I had to preach and give addresses on missions to Congregations there. Thust I visited heariy every piece of impolrtahce in England and Scotland, and many in Ireland. I always observed that, in congregations showing a lively Missionary spirit, i het,e was a high type of spiritual life, as well an the deepest interest and i tactical effort in carrying on eveiy Christian and benevolent work in thiir own neighborhood. I am convinced that there ia this Hue of action and traction in the kingdom of Christ - teal for the missionary cause is the natural. Outcome ,of the true living Chuich, deeply jmbUed with the spirit of Him who v/ah a missionary Saviour - and the pure, Strong, and prosperous church is the outcome of missionary zeal. Vigorous efforts at Home will always be associated with zeal in sending the Gospel to the heathen, and such, I believe, will be the case with our congregations here. Another result of missions will be to lead convert?, out of their deep gratitude, fd pray for these who send them the Gospel. I have often heard negfo Christians doing so in their broken and peculiar English, and times without number I have also heard Hindoo Christians, in their own beautiful Tamillaoguago, prying that God would bless those who sent them the light of the Gospel, whereby they were brought from the worship of idols to serve the living and true God. At former meetings of our Synod we have seen and heard some who, through the labors of our own missionaries, have become Christians, and may we not feel Sure that they and their fellow Christians in the New Hebrides will pray for God’s blessing on the Christians in Otago ? We all balieve in Rfayor, and since missions are an calculated to promote a spirit of prayer among mi ""vn people, aud also lead converts to pray fui u r 'y we not regard this as an important reflex .i.il.u :rte of the missionary cause? Further, an intelligent interest in the cau-e of m'ssiors will call forth and encourage a spirit of liberal giving among our congregations. Every enlightened member of out church will see shd feel that the Work of making known the way of sjdvation to the heathen belongs as much to hitnself personally as to those who go for this object to heathen lands. All such will feel that although in God’s providence they cannot go personally, upon them is laid the duty and privi'ege of sustaining those who go. The result will be liberal contributions for the spread of the Gospel, and this, I believe, without drying up or lessenirg one of the channels of liberality for Christian work at homo. I am persuaded that it will lend an impulse and impart fresh lif and vigor to every personal effort as well as to all Christian giving for the work of Obrht among ourselves. My own experience, whereever I have been-ahd as much in Otago as elsewhere—bar clearly shown me this, and 1 have often heard the same opinion expressed by others who had every opportunity of judging. . I believe I may safely say that, although Christiana in Europe and America lart year gave upwards of two millions of money for the spread of the Gospel among the heathen, no effort for the support or spread of the Gospel nt home has s ffored on account of this. Then, fathers and brethren, let us, as officebearers in the Church of Christ, ever remember that He designed it to be a missionary church. The whole Word of God, in its broad line of tendo; cy as well as by many plain statements, tells us this. The evangelisation of the world was the object for which our Lord came to earth and died on the cross. He summons us to do this work for Him, and by doing so calls us to act at His side, places us under the notice of His eye, and requires txs to follow His steps. Here, at our Synod, let us give much of our thought and energy to the work of spreading His Gospel among the heathen. And in the sphere where we labor, amid the many subjects which it ia our duty and privilege to bring before our people, Jet us always give prominence to that which was the subject of our Master’s last c immand on earth, ever fo-ling certain I hat in this we are not only carrying out His will, but also doing that which will very greatly help the spiritual prosperity of our congregations, ORDINARY BUSINESS. The ordinary preliminary business was terminated without discussion, various committees being appointed. An amendment was moved to the proposal that the hours of sitting should be-.as formerly, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.ra., and from 7 p.m. (no new business to be taken after 10.30), but the proposal to sit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. was negatived. The Rev. Mr Beattie and Mr John Jack, of Wellington, were introduced by the Rev. Dr Stuart, welcomed by the Moderator, and associated with thc Synod, A letter was received from the hon, secretary of the Dunedin Athenanim (Mr W. B. Harlow) inviting members of Synod to make use of the Athenaeum reading room, and the clerk of Synod was requested to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of this communication. The Synod adjourned shortly after 10 p.m. ' - The annual session of the Presbyterian Synod was continued this morning at ten o’clock. The chair was occupied by the Very Rev. the Moderator (Rev. G. Hail), and there was an attendance of some 100 members, The first hour was occupied with the usual devotional exercises, and ordinary preliminary business was then disposed of. ORDER OF BUSINESS. The Rev. Mr M'Kbnzie intimated a desire to give notice of a motion with regard to laying on the table the records of the Chalmers Church and congregation. After some discussion as to whether this would be in jorder, it was finally decided that the Committee on Bills not having yet settled whether the matter referred to in Mr M'Kenzle’s motion would come before the Synod at all, notice could not be given. PUBLIC MEETING. The Rev. Mr Sutherland moved', according to notice, that the public meeting be held on Thursday, and that the subject of the meeting be missionary enterprise. He referred to the paucity of attendance on the part of the public at the opening of the Synod, and expressed a hope that this defect would be remedied at the public meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr Adams and carried, a committee being appointed to carry out preliminary arrangements, CHURCH DEBT AND INSURANCE. Rev. A. Camerqn moved, in accordance with notice—“ That a committee be appointed to ascertain the debt on church property, rates of interest paid, and the possibility of raising a loan to cover the whole amount pn easier terms; that the same Committee be instructed to ascertain the total amount paid annually for insurance of churches, manses, etc., and the sum paid to cover loss by fire since the foundation of the church ; the Committee to report if possible before the rising of the Synod.” In addresfing himself to the motion the Rev. gentleman said they had all been made familiar with conversions of loans, an! he thought it would be a wise step if something similar were done so as to relieve congregations of a burden which was crippling many of them. He was of opinion that the church ought if possible to insure its own property, as was done in many cases by other bodies. The church might at any rate begin by taking half the risk, and by-and-bybe ln a position to take the whole. They might, he thought, ask their Northern friends to join them, and so to speak enlarge the constituency. The motion was briefly seconded by the Rev. A. B. Todd (Oamaru). Mr A. C. Beog thought the adoption of the course proposed would tend in many cases to congregations getting doubly into debt, and his opinion was that the Synod should do all in its power to discourage
inereekfe fa aobgrogationaE d’ett. The SOhbWio was, tftorecveb, practically impos-sible,-,as there would be no adequate security to. offer. With regard to the insurance question, the church had not a sufficient number of buildings to mako it worth its while to ensure itself. He moved that the matter be not taken up. The amendment was seconded by Mr Johnstone, A general discuesioH ensiled, in the course of Whirill the Rev, Dr Stuart spoke strongly against the, motion, deprecating the pbacticc of ctiiirdhes proclaiming their indebfcficlhesa to the world, and also of the Synod having its attention diverted from proper channels. There voted for the amendment 30, and for the rifimon 95, The amendment Was therefore carried by a majority of 4; Applications. A committee was appointed td afeal with applications fot admilsioß as ministers, STUDENTS. Overtures from the Presbyteries of Otago and Southland, with reference to improvements in the training and curriculum of theological students, were referred to a committee for consideration. A further overture from the Southland Presbytery suggesting the advisability of the establishment of a students 1 home tn connection. with the theological college Whs referred to the Bathe edmmittee.
evangelist. An overture from the EreSby tbr j of Southland praying fbr the appointment of one or more evangelists was supported by the Rev, Mr Lindsay, and was referred to a committee for consideration and report. The Synod adjofirhed at otte o'clock:
PRESBYTERIAN SYNOD., Issue 8050, 29 October 1889
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