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receiving the Christian Ordinances, and applied to Mr. Dean and myself to confer Ordination on their pastor." They com
plied with the request.
At the sessions of the Convention in 1801 and 1802, Committees similar to those designated in 1800 were appointed. In the "Plan of the General Association," adopted in 1803, provision was made in Section sixth, for Fellowship and Discipline, and the rule established in 1800, in regard to "Ordinations during the recess of the Convention," was re-affirmed.7 Under these provisions Committees of Discipline and of Ordination were appointed. The Records contain no further notice of these Committees for several years, although it is probable that they were continued from year to year, as in 1810 the Convention" appointed Brother Richard Carrique one of the Standing Committee to receive Complaints in the recess of the sessions." The next mention of a Committee of Discipline is in the Proceedings of 1821, when a "Standing Committee was appointed to receive Complaints, call Councils, and suspend the public labors of such brethren as may walk disorderly during the recess of the Convention." The next mention is in 1823, and is simply a vote "That the former Committee of Discipline be continued the ensuing year." 10 In 1824 the following was adopted:
Resolved, That in future, in all instances of difficulty existing between brethren in the ministry, or between a brother in the ministry and a Church or Society in fellowship with the General Convention, it shall be the duty of such parties to settle their differences by a mutual council, chosen of such as are in fellowship with the General Convention; and should either party refuse to submit the case to such a Council, the other shall have a right to choose an ex parte council, and the decision in either case shall be final." 11
The following year this resolution was considered as being an amendment to the Constitution, and the printing of a new edition, "accompanied by the amendment," was ordered.12 In 1828 the Convention repealed this rule, and voted,
6 Memoir, p. 254. 7 See this Plan in full, in QUARTERLY for July, 1876, pp. 166-158 8 Convention Records, Vol. I., p. 186. 9 Ibid, p. 252. 10 Ibid, p. 279
"That Committees of Discipline be annually appointed by this Convention. That in all cases of difficulty between ministering brethren, or between a ministering brother and a Church or Society in fellowship with the General Convention, the respective parties be earnestly requested to settle their differences by means of a mutual council, if practicable; but in cases of failure, they may refer the matter to the Committee of Discipline; and that said Committee be required to examine and try the case, and make report thereon at the following session of the General Convention."
Four Committees were thereupon appointed: one for Maine; one for Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; one for Vermont and New Hampshire; and one for New York and Pennsylvania.13 There is no record of further action under this rule till the session in 1832, when, under a vote "To appoint the usual Committees of Discipline," a committee was appointed for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and another for New Hampshire and Vermont.14 State Conventions had been organized in Maine, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania; and they either claimed authority in matters of Discipline in their respective jurisdisctions, or it was voluntarily conceded to them by the General Convention. Hence no Committees were appointed for these States.
In 1833 important changes were made in the organic law of the Convention; but before noticing these at length, a brief sketch will be given of the measures adopted prior to that date, in regard to Fellowship and Ordination.
At each session, from 1803 till 1833; with not more than two or three exceptions, the Convention appointed a "Committee to receive, investigate and report on all applications for Fellowship and Ordination during the session." The Records show that in all, thirty-five ministers received Ordination during sessions of the Convention: in 1801, Miles Treadwell Wooley, Edwin Ferriss; 1803, Noah Murray, Edward Turner, Samuel Hilliard, Joshua Flagg; 1804, Abner Kneeland, Samuel Smith; 1805, Nathaniel Stacy, Cornelius G. Person; 1806, Paul Dean; 1808, Sebastian Streeter; 1809, Timothy Bigelow, 18 Ibid, p. 326. 14 Ibid, pp. 362, 363.
Nathaniel Smith; 1812. Squire Streeter, Russell Streeter; 1814, Stephen R. Smith, Samuel C. Loveland; 1816, Jonathan Wallace, Robert Bartlett, Jacob Wood; 1819, Royal Gage, Robert L. Killam; 1821, Josiah Dikeman, Charles Hudson; 1823, Thomas F. King; 1824, Eliphalet Case, Jr.; 1825, William Bell, Massena B. Ballou; 1827, Joseph Ward, David Cooper, Moses P. Morgan; 1829, Thomas J. Sawyer; 1830, Joseph Wright; 1882, H. F. Stearns.15
The appointment, in 1803, of a "Committee of Ordination in the recess of the Convention," was not repeated, so far as the Records show, in subsequent years. The next mention of Ordination during such intervals, is in a vote passed in 1814,
"That, when any Brother in the Ministry, holding Fellowship with this Convention, receives Ordination or Installation. over any Church or Society, or takes up such connection, it shall be the duty of such Brother to make due return to the General Convention of such proceedings." 16
No further action was taken till 1826, when a Committee was appointed "To consider whether it is expedient to establish any general rule, in addition to our former usage, in the admission of applicants for the Fellowship of the General Convention as Preachers of the Gospel; and report at the next session of the General Convention." 17
The Committee reported at the next session, that in their opinion, it is desirable that some additional rule be established,
"And they would suggest the expediency of appointing at each session of the General Convention, a committee or committees, to whom candidates during the following year, shall apply for examination in secular and sacred learning; of which committee or committees it shall be the duty to examine such applicants, with special regard to their literary and theological acquirements, and their talent for sermonizing; and if satisfied therewith, to give them a certificate accordingly, which shall be produced by said candidates as their recommendation, on applying to the General Convention for its fellowship." 18
15 Rev. Hosea Ballou was ordained at the session of 1794; but not by vote of the Convention. It was the impromptu act of Rev. Elhanan Winchester. See Whittemore's Life of Ballou, Vol. I., pp. 105, 106.
16 Convention Records, Vol. I., p. 176.
17 Ibid, p. 308.
18 1bid, p. 313.
The Convention adopted the suggestion, and at the same session" Voted to designate four districts, and that a committee, consisting of three in each district, be appointed to examine the proficiency of candidates for the ministry in secular and theological literature." The districts formed were: 1. Maine; 2. Vermont and New Hampshire: 3. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; 4. New York and Pennsylvania.19 Committees for these districts were reappointed in 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1832, but omitted in 1831.20 In 1829 the Convention
"Ordered, That when any brother belonging to this body chooses to withdraw his fellowship, and makes his withdrawal known to the Standing Clerk, it shall be the duty of said Clerk to make due record thereof, publish it in some periodical paper, and communicate the same to the next session of the Convention." 21
In 1831, in consequence of the organization of the Restorationists, the Convention
"Resolved, That those gentlemen belonging to this body who have become members of this separate Ecclesiastical Body, which is totally independent of the General Convention, have thereby annulled their membership with said Convention; and the Standing Clerk is hereby directed to enter said fact on the Records, and make publication of the same, according to the Constitution of this body."
The foregoing covers all contained in the Records on the subject of Fellowship and Ordination prior to 1833. The changes effected in the organic law of the Convention, that year, had long been desired, but when they were first proposed in the sessions of that body, it is impossible to say. Rev. N. Stacy, relating his efforts in 1823 to organize a State Convention in New York, says:
"I once proposed, at a session of what was called the General Convention, (though in fact it was nothing more than an
19 Ibid, p 315.
20 The appointments in 1832, were for the second and third districts, only. 21 Convention Records Vol. I., p. 833.
22 Ibid, p. 353.
ordinary association, composed of delegates from individual societies and churches,) holden in the city of Hudson, to have that body change its constitution into a convention, to be composed of delegates exclusively from associations; and prevailed on Mr. Carrique to make a motion to that effect. But it met with opposition, and the motion was withdrawn." 23
The session at Hudson was held in 1821. The first mention in the Records of such an effort is in the Proceedings of the session at Saratoga Springs, in 1-27, when the following, introduced by Rev. Paul Dean, "were unanimously adopted":
"Whereas, in the progress of the societies of Universalists in the United States, and the multiplication of Associations in fellowship with this Convention, claiming the same power, composed of the same members and extending over the same territory, there is not that perfect order in their government and proceedings desirable to be preserved,- Therefore
"Resolved, That it is expedient so far to alter the plan of the General Convention and the subordinate Associations, as to provide that the General Convention shall consist of the ministering brethren of all the Associations and societies in fellowship with the order, together with delegates from each of the State Conventions, and that in each State where there are three or more ministering brethren, to be composed of ministers of the State, and delegates from the branches of said State Associations, to be composed of the ministers and two delegates of each in the territory which shall be specified. All Associations to adopt the Articles of Faith professed by the General Convention, and to be governed by the rules of the General and State Conventions, or such as they may adopt in conformity thereto." 24
This preamble and resolution was referred to a committee, which, at that session, drew up and presented "the outlines of a revised plan for the better government of the Convention, the Associations and Societies in its fellowship." Their "Report was unanimously accepted, and ordered to be sent to the societies, and in the meantime recommitted for a detailed report of the plan at the next meeting of the General Convention." 25 The committee's "outline plan" was as follows:
23 Memoir, p. 326.
24 Convention Records, Vol. I., p. 314. 25 The Committee on Mr. Dean's resolution was Revs. Paul Dean, Warren Skinner