culed the practice of worship as if it consisted in flattering the Almighty; and we have heard Christian ministers inquire, in the same strain, why we should tell God in our prayers how old he is, and how great. This error comes from apparent unfamiliarity with the practice of ancient saints, as seen in the Psalms; and also from profound ignorance of the design and effect of worship. The Psalms of David, of Asaph, and the other sacred poets, are replete with the spirit of worship.

In commencing their service they were accustomed to say, “ O come, let us worship; let us bow down before the Lord our Maker!”... “Let us enter his courts with thanksgiving, and his gates with praise !” They thought of the eternity, the self-existence, the power, the truthfulness, the justice, the mercy, and the holiness of God, until their hearts were full, and then their feelings burst forth in the highest strains of adoration and praise.

Let it always be borne in mind that no one can worship God unless his soul is in love with infinite excellence; and that in proportion as his love for perfection increases will be his desire to render unto God the worship which is due. And in the act of worship the soul is enlarged and purified. No exercise of the human heart is so elevating and improving as that of meditating, with adoring feelings, upon the character of the ever-blessed God. As we study him in his works, and especially in his words, as revealed in his perfect laws, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory."

We do therefore earnestly call upon all with whom the proceedings of this Council will have weight to make the element of worship more prominent in their devotions, both in public and private religious services. To the objection that the endeavor to effect this end would prolong devotional exercises to an undue length, we would reply, that prayers are sometimes tedious because they have not the variety which meets all the wants of the devout soul, and are made up of “ vain repetitions” in the form of petition for blessings. It is believed that our devotional services, both in the house of God, in social meetings, and in the family, would be made far more interesting by being more complete, while by the same means they would be rendered more acceptible to the hearer of prayer. Those who render earnest and sincere thanks for divine favors, will thus enforce their prayers for new mercies in the presence of the prayer-answering God; and those who, by high and holy expressions of adoration, draw near to the great white throne, will be thereby fitted to make a good use of all the blessings which God may be pleased to bestow upon them. Our petitions will be more pleasing to our heavenly Father when we worship him in the “ beauty of holiness.”


The amendment to the Report on Church Polity was adopted, and the amended report was then adopted.

It was voted, that the vote be reconsidered so far as respects the mode of appointing the committee; and it was ordered that the Moderator and First Assistant Moderator nominate that committee to this Council for its appointment.

The Committee on Ministerial Education reported by Dr. Sweetser, their chairman, as follows, viz.:


The Committee on Collegiate and Ministerial Education respectfully recommend that the resolutions submitted to them in reference to Collegiate and Theological Institutions at the West be referred to a special committee.

They also recommend the adoption of the comprehensive, clear, and well-arranged report on the education of young men for the ministry presented to this Council by the committee appointed at the preliminary meeting to consider that subject.

And in order that some of its more weighty suggestions may be distinctly impressed, and be carried out in the practical application they deserve, the committee beg leave to submit to the Council for their adoption the following statements :

1. As it is an admitted fact that in the providence of God the high religious character, the Christian energy, the sound and intelligent patriotism, and the wide and salutary influence, of New England in the past have depended to a large extent upon the existence and continuous work of an educated and devoted ministry, so it must be admitted, that in the future within New England the perpetuation and enlargement of such character and influence, and beyond New England the training of communities to a similar character and influence, depends, and will ever depend, upon the existence and continuous work of a ministry in like manner devotedly pious, and generously educated.

2. Inasmuch as the present emergency is pressing, and the condition of the West and South imperatively demands immediate attention, it is eminently desirable that our theological seminaries should provide for the education of earnest-minded and vigorous young men, whose hearts are in the Lord's work, by arranging a course of instruction not requiring a previous collegiate training, in order that, with as little delay as practicable, they may engage in preaching the gospel to the many thousands who wait for it in our land.

3. As the duty of consecration to the spreading of Christ's kingdom is not laid exclusively upon those who minister the word, and as it is not salutary nor right that those who go into the warfare equip themselves at their own charges, the obligation should be recognized by all members of the Church of our Redeemer, to help young men in their education for the ministry, by assistance rendered directly to individuals, by supplying ample funds to education-societies, and by generously endowing scholarships in colleges and theological seminaries.

4. Notwithstanding the often presented discouraging aspect of the Christian ministry, arising from an alleged insecurity and insufficiency of pecuniary support, young men of the requisite ability and good disposition should be encouraged to devote themselves to preaching the gospel, in the cheerful exercise of a simple faith in the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ to his messengers, “ Lo, I am with you always !” trusting with all good assurance and hope in the word of the Lord, that all necessary things shall be added unto them. By vote of the committee,

S. SWEETSER, Chairman. June 23, 1865.

The report was accepted and adopted, with the following addition to the original paper, as follows:

“And a deeper and more general consecration on the part of Christian parents of their children to the work of the gospel ministry."

Accepted and adopted; to be entered after “choicest of our sons,” page 325, line forty-five.

Dr. E. Beecher offered the following resolutions, viz.: Resolved, That an appeal be issued from this Council, and placed, so far as may be, in the hands of every member of every Congregational Church in the country, urging the duty of self-denying benevolence, with immediate reference to the object contemplated in this paper. Resolved, That a special committee of five be appointed to prepare and issue this appeal.

It was voted that this Council sit until two and a half P. M., and then adjourn sine die.

Dr. Stearns's report on Systematizing Benevolent Contributions, amended, was accepted and adopted as follows:


The committee to whom was submitted the paper entitled “ Systematizing Benevolent Contributions” ask leave to report, that they have given as much time to the consideration of the subject of the paper as your intervals of business and their other engagements would allow, and see no reason to dissent from the general views and statements presented by the original committee.

They were evidently embarrassed, as all who give attention to the facts and circumstances of the case must be, by the number of existing organizations engaged in important enterprises, and by the difficulty of connecting those organizations by any wise and practicable plans of concentration. If the authors of the paper had any such end in view when they commenced the work assigned them, they were evidently brought to despair of its accomplishment. Your committee fully agree with them in the opinion that much less can be safely attempted towards reducing the number of benevolent associations, and giving greater breadth and power to a few which might be specially recommended to public confidence, than the inexperienced in such an effort would naturally imagine. Most of these societies have long since attained to the dignity and stability of years and experience, and have acquired confidence by valuable services. Most of them have their own charters, their own endowments, their own special patrons and friends, and their own specific works. They have also a history and a life, and would be destroyed only by undesirable pressure and violence. The work of evangelizing the heathen and nominally Christian nations abroad, and of converting the population of our own country wholly to Christ, is the one work, generally speaking, which as Christians and Congregationalists we are all interested, in connection with the upbuilding of our own churches, to achieve; and we suppose it to be an established fact that this work must be carried on among us through the agency of the great missionary and other benevolent associations which have been established for the purpose.

It must not, however, be forgotten that new and great opportunities for Christian effort have been opened to us by the results of the war. The colored Freedmen, the long neglected whites of the South, the in-rushing, enterprising, diversified populations of the West, even more than before, all demand Christian sympathy and assistance, which can be best afforded, sometimes by the old organizations, and sometimes perhaps by temporary associations formed expressly for their benefit. We cannot restrict the liberty of the churches in selecting the fields of their labor, the objects of their benevolence, and the channels through which they would bestow their contributions.

Your committee, therefore, in view of the whole subject, would limit themselves to a few simple suggestions, and those chiefly in accordance with the sentiments of the paper before them.

1. They suggest that it is exceedingly desirable that the disposition to Christian giving should be greatly intensified and extended — that all the members of our larger churches should be educated and accustomed to it, and that pains should be taken to interest not only the smaller, but the smallest churches in it. Of this last character, it is believed that there are large numbers which are rarely visited by the agents of benevolent societies, for the reason that such agents do not find this work pecuniarily remunerative to the associations which employ them. In consequence of this neglect, while the pecuniary loss to the kingdom of Christ is great, the loss of Christian growth, through the disuse of giving, is far greater and deplorable. We would call the attention of ministerial associations, Church conferences, agents of benevolent societies, pastors and churches, to this subject, that they may inquire, in their respective localities and relations, what can be done to develop the benevolence of all churches and Christians within the reach of their influence.

2. Your committee suggest, that it may be safe and wise to presume that intelligent Christians, in selecting societies, will naturally give their preference to those whose work, as defined, comes nearest to that “foolishness of preaching” by which Christ saves those who believe.

3. Your committee suggest, that without infringing upon the liberty of the churches and of private Christians, in their selection of societies, and because we are afraid that many churches, especially at the West, would esteem it a great favor to be informed of the facts, it may be well for this body to say that the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the American Home Missionary Society, and the American Missionary Association, have the confidence of our churches, and have been accustomed to receive and disburse most of the charities intended to subserve the ends for which these societies were formed; that the American Education Society, for the increase of the number of Christian ministers; the Society for Promoting Collegiate and Theological Education at the West, having the same general object in view; the American Bible Society for the translation and distribution of the Word of God; the American and Foreign Christian Union for diffusing the simple gospel among nations and communities whose Christianity has been sadly corrupted, and in some instances almost destroyed by human additions and superstitions; the old and well-established societies for the benefit of seamen, and for the gathering and improving of Sabbath Schools, and the Christian education of children in them; the Congregational Board of Publication, (and the American Congregational Association,] — have all been sanctioned by the customs of the churches, and by the recommendations, often repeated, of numerous religious bodies among us; also that the objects for which the American Tract Societies were instituted, viz. the distribution of religious books and tracts, especially in settlements supposed to be destitute of them, are considered by this Council as of great importance, and are cordially recommended to the churches; also that, whereas there are many associations for the benefit of the Freedmen, — the paper under consideration says at least twelve, others say as many as eighteen within their knowledge, - it would seem desirable to concentrate such agencies, so far as our contributions are concerned, into some one responsible body sufficiently known and approved to be worthy of our confidence; and as the American Missionary Association has undertaken this work, we are happy to say that in our judgment there is no existing organization which has better adaptations to the successful performance of it; also, and as a matter of special importance, that an effort to encourage and aid Church-building, especially at the West and South, should be earnestly carried forward by the Congregational Union, which has undertaken this enterprise.

4. Your committee suggest, that while it is not expedient for this Council to attempt constrained conjunctions of societies, nor in their power to furnish perfect systems of Christian giving which may be applicable to all cases, it is a legitimate business of each Church, and would conduce greatly to its order and comfort, to decide, after full consideration for themselves, what objects they will patronize, what societies they will employ as their organs, and at what times they will make their contributions. They can adopt either of the plans suggested in the paper before us, or construct a plan each for itself, always regarding the ability of the Church, and adopting such courses as may be most conducive to good order and most fruitful in good works. Your committee cannot think that impulsive giving to irresponsible solicitors, when the circumstances cannot be well understood, is either required by our Lord, or is conducive to the edification of his Church. New objects of high importance will often demand consideration; but if entertained at all, they should be regarded only as occasional and extraordinary.

Finally, your committee suggest that it would be a great saving of expense and confusion, and for the edification of the churches, if the pastors would undertake, as far as may be practicable, to act themselves as agents in behalf of the several objects for which the churches under their care may choose to contribute; and that while agents may be invited when necessary to communicate information, the systematic efforts of pastors' and churches should be our main reliance for securing those stated contributions which our churches may choose to bestow.


And it was ordered that the name of the American Congregational Association be added to the list of societies therein contained.

Rev. Mr. Thome, of Ohio, presented the following resolution, which was accepted and adopted, as follows:

Resolved, That for the supply and proper training of a ministry adequate to the wants of the West and the South, and for the spiritual preparation of the Lord's people East and North to respond suitably, in money, measures, and men, to the calls of Providence to enter and occupy the land which late events have opened to our faith and polity and evangelical enterprise, and to plant churches among, and furnish all requisite means of grace to, the Freed people, and the inhabitants generally of the South,

Revivals of Religion in our colleges and theological seminaries, and throughout our churches, Sabbath schools, and families, leading to the renewed consecration of the wealth and the youth of our Zion to the Redeemer, are now the preěminent necessity; and that this Council does conjure the pastors and churches of our order from the Atlantic to the Pacific to employ, promptly and in faith, the measures they may deem most efficient, under God, in promoting a general and genuine refreshing from on high.

And would God this work of grace might begin at this Jerusalem!

Rev. Dr. Taylor, of Conn., made the following report, which was accepted, and the resolutions adopted :

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