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PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
♦ Third Dat.—Fbidat. Th* General Assembly resumed at 3 p.m. in Burns Hall, the Rev. A. Grant (Moderator) presiding. —lnternational Peace.— E*r. Charles Murray (CSixistchureh) introduced the report of the Committee on International Peace. It set forth, that the. committee had communicated by.circular with churches at Home, in Australia, America, and Europe. Some of the assemblies communicated with were not duo to meet till after the war had broken out. As the war "had altered the whole complexion of things, the committee did not i»xpect further replies to their appeal now. Perhaps ttie most interesting communication received by the committee was the one from Dr DrvandeT, of Berlin, kindly translated into "English by Professor Dickie. His letter is interesting. After acknowledging receipt of the communication, Dr Dxvander proceedst—"lt ffoes without raying that all Christians are in favor of the principle of Universal Peace, and each ono in his own niohe will do what he can to calm the passions of peoples, to promote mutual understanding among the nati'ms, and to give effect to the most elemental comrnandmerrts of the Gospel. There is room for difference of opinion as to whether this can be done by the method of a pence alliance. Only a very small sec tioo of the German public or Church would be disposed to join such an association. It would carry me too far afield were Ito state the reason* of this. They have reference to the central and isolated situation of Germany, and also to the conviction that Germany, in which, as we arc well assured, there is no idle effervescence of sentiment, can preserve tho peace of the world as an actual fact only in virtue of its military power, and is strong enough to prevent the other nations coing to wax." To enjoy the hegemony oi Europe is evidently 'what Germany understands by peace. To others that hegemony might bo but the beginnings of sorrows. The mover spoke at length, arguing that war was a mistake and non-Christian, though if ever Britain was justified in going to war is was in regard to this war. 'l"he people of th<* world should say that there was to be no more war. The Chris* tian Church ought to lead in that direction. It was a matter for the people at large. Twenty-one diplomats were all who had a say a<s to whether there should or should not be war on this occasion, and millions of men were involved. If the people were for peace the war party could not have war. Her. J Paterson (Chriatchurch) seconded the Diction for the adoption of the report, and in doing so questioned whether the present war would end wars. He feared that it, wold breed tho military spirit, and that this would be a peril whichever side wen. The motion was carried. —Bible in Schools.— This, the next question, wis debated till the adjournment at 5.30 p.m. —Book of Order.--On resuming at 7 p.m. in First Church, the 4«einhly received the report of the Book of Order Committee. Eev. J. Mackenzie presented the report., to the effect that nine Presbyter.** bsd Rent in returns suggesting amendments. As so few had replied, he moved that the question be remitted to the next meeting of Assembly. Rev. A. M. Finlnyson, in seconding the .motion, said that the liook was too elaborate in respect to matters of lesser importance, on which the minor courts might be left to themselves. Motion carried. —Training of Home Missiocaiies. — Dr Erwin (Ghristchurch) piesentod the report of this committee, which set forth that the examination was held this year at the usual time, and that 11 missionaries were presented for examination—viz., three in the first year, live in the second year, and
three in the third year. The results wore that two passed in the first year, and on© failed in one subject; three passed in the second year, and two failed in one subject; and in the third year two passed, but one failed entirely—-i.e., in moTe than one subject. In moving the adoption of the report. Dr Exwin add that the scheme was not working satisfartorily. A large number of the homo missionaries ignored the system of hoce studies; some never had any •xperienee of study ; and many were in out-of-the-way plases, wliere there was no minister to guide tfcem. The suggestion of the committee was that one of the Knox College tutors should get into touch with these men and give them the necessary guidance, lie sum of £6O should be provided for the tutor. The question caused some discussion, and it waa resolved to request Knox College to arrange about the appointment. —Home Missions.— This leport stated that "the situation now is very heartening. We began the year witi a credit balance of £826 j we end "with a credit balance of £1,093, or» ; increase of £267. The contributions of congregations last vear amounted to £2,456! thia year the figure is £3,716, an increase of £1,260. This is the most gratifying feature of the report now preMsmted to the Assembly. Though thia capital fond baa been heavily drawn upon, it-, too, sho*wr» on* improvement oo laefc year. There is at its credit £2,600, against £2,242, an Increase of £260. This is owing to the legacy from the estate of the late G. F. Bullen, amounting to £I,OOO, having been paid to the treasurer during the period now under review. The situation, then, may on the whole be regarded as satisfactory ; but it is necessary not only that the increase should be maintained, but bettered. The ordinary revenue has been nearly equal to the expenditure, but it must not be forgotten that we have added only a few stations to last year's list." Dr Gibb presented the report. He eaid that last year the position was deplorable, and in view of that the position to-day called for thanksgiving. The work had generally been highly satisfactory. All the agencies were filled, with one exception, and that would bo filled in a few days. A year ago the committee : were e* their wit's end to get men. ; Moreover, there waa reason for eaiiafac- ' tiion with the character of the men appointed. Their pay had also been ini- ' proved. The present position waa right. But the effort to keep it «o must bo eu&tained. Dr Gibb concluded by moving a deliverance expressing satisfaction with, the work and commending' the home mission schema to the liberalrtv of the people. Rev. J. Kilpatrick seconded the motion, which waa supportd by Mr J. R. Kirk and Mr Pavior-Smith, and then carried. Rev. E. 0. Perry (Auckland) spoke about muaions and the need for more missions in the country north of Auckland. Dr Gibb explained that owfaw to the war the Laymen's Missionary Movement proposal to attempt to raise £20,000 in aid of home missions was to stand over in the meantime. That waa the suggestion of the committee. Tba suggestion was endorsed by the Assembly. 1% "was decided to try to get five men from Home. Dr Gibb said that on the whole the young New Zealanders did the best work ia New Zealand, but the supply did not equal the demand. The Assembly recorded appreciation of the seorvhaes of the Rev. P. B. Fraser, who at the end of June retired from the position of superintendent of home missions. Rev. I. JoHv spoke In favor of home missions, pointing out the duty of liberally supporting that fund. —Senefidary Fund*.— Rev. W. J. Comrie introduced the report of the special committee on beneficiary; funds. The committee recommended (1) an alteration of the regulations to allow a retiring minister to exercise the option of withdrawing and receiving a refund, or retaining his interest in one of two ways; (2) an amalgamation of the ministers' fund and the widows' funds (3) a scheme for increasinjr the annuities. He moved for the appointmerJi of & committee to look into these matter* and report to a future a&mmt, Tl»e Presbyterian* were fcfea
wealthiest rallgiona body in New Zealand, but the retiring allowances did not reach > feh* rate paid toy one oor two other do- , nominations. He believed thi» could be [ remedied by well-advised action. I Bev. J. Gumming (Wellington) seconded i Hie motion, and it was agreed to. The Acfiembly rote at a little after 10 p.m.
PRESBYTERIAN ASSEMBLY, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
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