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credly to cherish their present views, in relation to that object : and it is submitted whether the peculiar and abiding impressions, by which they are influenced, ought not to be gratefully recognized, as a divine intimation of something good and great in relation to the propagation of the gospel, and calling for correspondent attention and exertions.
66 Therefore, voted, that there be instituted by this General Association, a Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, for the purpose of devising ways and means, and adopting and prosecuting measures, for promoting the spread of the gospel in heathen lands.
« Voted, That the said Board of Commissioners consist of nine members, all of them, in the first instance, chosen by this Association ; and afterwards annually, five of them by this body, and four of them by the General Association of Connecticut.-Provided, however, that, if the General Association of connecticut do 'not choose to unite in this object, the annual election of all the Commissioners shall be by this General Association.
“ It is understood, that the Board of Commissioners, here contemplated, will adopt their own form of organization, and their own rules and regulations.
« Voted, That fervently commending them to the grace of God, we advise the young gentlemen, whose request is before us, in the way of earnest prayer and diligent attention to suitable studies and means of information, and putting themselves under the patronage and direction of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, humbly to wait the openings and guidance of providence in respect to their great and excellent design."
“ Pursuant to the report of the Committee, the Association proceeded to institute a Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and the following gentlemen were chosen ; His Excellency John Treadwell, Esq. Rev. Dr. Timothy Dwight, Gen. Jedediah Huntington, and Rev. Calvin Chapin, of Connecticut, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lyman, Rev. Dr. Samuel Spring, William Bartlett, Esq. Rev. Samuel Worcester, and Deacon Samuel H. Walley, of Massachusetts.
« Voted, That the gentlemen of the commission, belonging to Newburyport, Salem, and Boston, consult with the other members, for the purpose of appointing a time and place for the first meeting of the Board."
The Board then formed and adopted the following Constitution.
1. The Board shall be known by the name and style of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
2 The object of this Board is to devise, adopt, and proseCute, ways and means for propagating the gospel among those, who are destitute of the knowledge of Christianity.
3 This Board shall, at every annual meeting, elect, by ballot, a President, Vice-President, and a Prudential Committee of their own number ; also a Recording Secretary, and a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Auditor of the Treasury, either of their own number, or of other persons at their discretion.
4 The annual meetings of this Board shall be held alternately in Massachusetts and Connecticut, on the third Wednesday of every September, at ten o'clock, A. M. The place of every such meeting is to be fixed at the annual meeting next preceding. The President shall call a special meeting at the request of a majority of the Prudential Committee, or of any other three members of the Board. Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, a majority of whom shall be competent to the transaction of ordinary business.
5 The Prudential Committee, under the direction of the Board, shall have power to transact any business necessary to promote the object of the institution ; and shall, in writing, report their doings to each annual meeting.
6 The Auditor by himself, or with such other's as may be joined with him, shall annually audit the Treasurer's accounts and make report to the annual meeting of the Board.
7 It shall be the duty of the Commissioners to receive all donations of money, other property and evidences of property, and the same deliver to the Prudential Committee; and the Committee shall deliver the same to the Treasurer, to be managed by him for the interest of the funds.
8 The Treasurer, in keeping his accounts, shall distinguish such monies as may be appropriated, by the donors, for immediate use, from such, the interest of which is alone applicable to use, and the principal is designed to form a permanent fund ; the surplus of the former, which may, at any time, be in his hands, he shall place at interest, on good security, for such limited period as the Prudential Committee shall direct; and the principal of the latter he shall place and keep at interest, or vest in stock, as he shall be ordered by the Board, or by the said Committee.
9. The Prudential Committee shall keep an account of all monies and other property, or evidences of property, by them received, and of all payments by them made either to the Treasurer, or for other purposes; and of all orders by them drawn on the Treasurer: And their accounts shall be annually audited and reported to the Board.
10 The Commissioners shall be entitled to be paid their VOL. IV. No. IV. 2 F
necessary expenses incurred in going to, attending upon, and returning from, meetings of the Board; and all officers of the Board shall be, in like manner, entitled to be paid their ne. cessary expenses, as they shall, in each case, be liquidated and allowed by the Board ; but no commissioner or officer shall be entitled to receive any compensation for his personal services.
11 The appointment of Missionaries, their destination, appropriations for their support, and their recal from service, when necessary, shall be under the exclusive direction of the Board.
12 A report of the transactions of this Board shall annually be made, in writing, to the respective Bodies, by which the Commissioners are appointed.
13 This Board will hold correspondence with Missionary and other Societies for the furtherance of the common object.
14 This constitution shall be subject to any additions or amendments which experience may prove necessary, by the Board at an annual meeting; provided the additions or amendments be proposed, in writing, to the Board at the preceding meeting.
SAMUEL WORCESTER. :
Rev. Dr. Spiring, Vice-President,
Extract from the Minutes of the proceedings of the
Seventh General Synod of the Associate-Reformed Church, in North-America. Mr. Mathews, from the committee on the subject of psalmody, presented the following report, viz.
The committee to whom was referred the petition of sundry members of the congregation, whereof the Rev. GEORGE Mairs is minister, and the request of the Synod of NewYork, relative to an improved version of scriptural psalmody, submit the following report, viz.
It is now upwards of one hundred and fifty years since the present version of the psalms of David was introduced into bone the church of Scotland. During that period great changes have passed upon all the languages of Europe, so that works not written with the most scrupulous regard to purity of diction and the essential character of a language, have become, in some degree, antiquated. This has happened to our present version of psalms, in common with almost every other human production of the same age. It cannot be disputed, that the difference between the actual state of the English language, and the phraseology of that venerable book, is marke ed and striking. The wonder is, that, all things considered, it has stood its ground so long. The preceding version, viz. that of STRENHOLD and Hopkins, grew obsolete in a much shorter time, and rendered it necessary to meet the varied state of language by the substitution of the present, which is known as Rouse's version.
Your committee, instead of being surprised at the overture which has been referred to them, are rather surprised that, viewing the state of our mother tongue and of religious feel. ing in those parts of our country where the native population is filling our churches, such an overture has been delayed so long. The fact of its originating among the people themselves, and in a congregation where there is a great preponderance of members, habituated from their infancy to our present version, is proof that the most serious inconvenience is beginning to be felt, and requires the efficient interference of this Synod.
Your committee are aware of all that respect which is due to habits long established, and tenderly cherished by multitudes who love the truth as it is in Jesus--of the difficulty of touching, without bad effect, any thing which has been law. fully incorporated in the system of divine worship, especial. ly the matter of public praise and of that rage for innovation which has not undeservedly subjected every alteration to suspicion and dislike. But your committee should forget their duty, and contribute to deceive the churches into a dangerous security, were they to conceal the very critical condition of a large section of our body, arising from the unpopularity of our present version of the psalms. By interrogating the delegates from that quarter, the Synod may obtain the most satisfactory evidence, that from the city of Washington northward, with scarcely any exception, our present version is the chief obstacle to our prosperity. Our doctrine, government, worship, and discipline, are all acceptable, except in the article of our social praise, which languishes and is ready to die. Not that there is anxiety for that licentious
ness of change which is more calculated to gratify human fastidiousness, than to build up the church in holiness and comfort. The matter of praise adapted to the state of our language in a version of the proper portion of God's holy word, as close to the original as the laws of good versification permit, will remove every obstacle. But it appears evident that with the present version there is no possibility of getting on much longer. A crisis is rapidly approaching which will force the question upon the General Synod in a much less manageable shape than it has now assumed. There is every reason to fear that in five or six years our whole northern churches, without an improved psalmody, will be shaken to their centre. Resistance to that tide of public opinion and taste which has already set in with prodigious force, and is swelling and growing more impetuous every hour, is altogether vain. The alternative is as obvious as it is alarming. Either the rising generation will take the reform into their own hands, and then there will be no computing the disasters of such a precedent; or our churches will be swept en: tirely away. It is for the wisdom of the General Synod to anticipate the evil ; and seize the direction of the current, while they are able to direct it. There is not a moment to lose. The speedy preparation of an improved version of scriptural psalmody will, in all probability, avert the impending mischiefs, and render our churches more compact and flourishing than ever.
Your committee are sensible that this measure is not only unnecessary, but would be extremely hurtful in other parts of our church. They have no wish to interfere in the slightest degree with the happy tranquillity which reigns among them on this subject. The same brotherly affection, and disposition to bear each others burdens, will, as they suppose, prompt these churches cheerfully to acquiesce in a measure, which, while it disturbs not their own peace, is essential not merely to the peace, but to the existence of our northern churches. It should be explicitly understood and provided, that the new version be not introduced into any congregation whose circumstances do not demand it. With this explanation your committee offer the following resolution. Resolved, That
be and hereby are appointed a committee, to procure an improved version of scriptural psalmody; and to have the same in readiness for such order as the General Synod shall see meet to take at the next stated meeting. All which is respectfully submitted.
JAMES M. MATHEWS, Chairman of Com; Philadelphia, 4th June, 1810.