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PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
Third Dat.—Friday. The General Assembly sat in Burns Hall dt 10 the Rev. A. Grant (Moderator) in the chair. —Condolences.— On the motion of Rev. F. R- Jeffreys, the Assembly passed a vote of sympathy with the family ot Dr Webb, who died on board a transport. ..... Rev. A. M. Finlay son moved similarly ir respect to the death of Dr Watt'o son, and this also was canned in proper form. —New Members.— Members of the Assembly who were attending for the first rime were named bv the clerk (Rev. J. MacKenzie), and each rose in turn for presentation to the Moderator, who welcomed them in a body. —Foreign Missions This subject was resumed for- the consideration of certain debatable matters reserved from last night’s meeting. Professor Hewilson, convener of the Foreign Missions Committee, introduced the subjects in turn. . , He moved,first —“ That the question ot rebuilding the hospital in tho New" Hebrides be held in abeyance during the wax’, but that the committee be instructed, if the way open before next Assembly, to place the whole matter before the presbyteries of the Church, and act in accordance with the consensus of opinion thus obtained.” —In speaking to the motion. Professor Howitson said that it met with Dr Bowie’s approval, and that if it ycere adopted it would enable tho committee, should tho war suddenly collopse, to take preliminary action without loss of time.— Rev. J. K. Elliott (Wellington) seconded. —Carried. The next motion was—"That the Assembly undertake, by God’s blessing, to maintain dining the coming year the present mission work of the Church, and, furthsi, to send Mr A. L, Miller, M.A., to China at the end of next year, if he is then ready to go.”—The mover said that this matter brought up the question of the committees finance. Last year the expenditure exceeded tho income by £1,702. It was estimated that the expenditure for the coining year would be £8,335, and if the revenue was only what it was this year the expenditure would not be quite reached. The Assembly must say what was to be done. The committee suggested to maintain the work as at present, and to sand forth Mr Miller, who in a sacrificing manner had offered to pay the £IOO bond given to continue in the service of the Education Department, and thus release himself for missionary work. It was most unusual for a man to pay £IOO to qualify for a. prospective appointment as a missionary.— Hon. J. G. W. Aitken seconded the motion, which was supported by Rev. W. J. Gomrie, and carried. Next motion—” That members of Assembly be instructed to draw the attention of their sessions, financial courts, and congregations to the list of student volunteers, and that the committee he enjoined to lay their plans with a view to the acceptance of these volunteers by the Assembly, when their course of preparation is complete; further, that the presbyteries be instructed to consider tho whole question and repoi - to tho committee in July.”—The mover said that already there were 15 volunteers, some of whom had completed their course of study.—Rev. I. E. Bertham (Auckland) seconded.—Rev. W Scorpio suggested that Professor Hcwitson should act ns a depu tation throughout New Zealand, to stir up missionary zeal.—Tho Professor said ho would enjoy such a commission, but the summer session of Knox College forbade it. —Carried. Next motion —“That, as tbe> deputation to tlie East agreed upon by last Assembly did not set out owing to the war, the committee have discretionary power m tho matter during tho ensuing year. —The mover said that the position was a difficult one, and he simply presented tho motion as framed by tho committee, leaving the decision to tho wisdom of the Assembly. - Rev. G. M’Neur seconded, and advocated the sending of the deputation.—-Motion carried. —Church Life and Work.—
Tho report of this committee opened with a reference to the. war. “ This fiery trial has not only welded tho Empire into an indissoluble union, but it is going to purify, cleanse, and humble us.” Replies to circulars showed that an earnest endeavor is being made to win tho children to the house of God. Many congregations have branches of the Young Worshippers League. “ Some of us, however, are sufficiently old-fashioned to wonder whether the somewhat mechanical means of securing church, attendance by cards and prizes tends to foster a permanent love in the hearts of our young people, for the house of God.” As to men’s work, whilst a large number of the men of the church were deeply interested in her activities, it must be admitted that as large a number, as far as active service, was concerned, did not count. It had been suggested to institute a Presbyterian brotherhood, which would have a maximum of work and good-fellowship with a minimum of meetings and machinery. It was recommended to make strenuous efforts Ho carry the Gospel to week-end resorts. In other clauses of the report the committee regretted the passing of the Gaming Amendment Act, recommended the publishing of a Church Manual and more literature of the right kind, approved tho card system for the congregational roll, suggested that steps be taken to secure a visit to the church of a leading minister from the Homeland, and commended the evangelistic work of Mr James Gumming and Mr Frazer Barton. Rev. J. A. Asher (Hawke’s Bay) moved the adoption of the report. It was seconded by the Hon. J. G. W. Ait-ken, who, speaking about the attendance of children at church, said it seemed to him that they were largely depending upon bribes to get tho children to church, not not doing enough to impress upon parents tho necessity _ for taking their young ones to tho services. Other speakers were Rev, A. Miller (Auckland), Rev. P. C. Rennie (Oamaru), and Rev. A. S. Morrison (Waimato). Rev. B. Hutson (Wellington) moved to eliminate the sentence about “ mechanical moans,” which amounted to censure in regard to a common practice. Rev. J. A. Asher agreed to the elimination, and the report as thus amended was adopted. Rev, Mr Rennie, in the course of hi* remarks, conveyed an offer from the Oamaru Presbytery to provide £IOO for the employment‘of Mr Jas. Gumming beyond the bounds of Oamaru. Rev. \V. J. Comrie moved, and it was agreed;”that this offer he remitted to the Committee on Church Life and Work, with power to accept it. The Assembly adjourned at 1.20 p.m.
PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY, Issue 15655, 20 November 1914
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