power. All effort in the work of parochial evangelization that is not connected with the local Church, and does not bring the evangelized masses within the fold, and under the watch and care of the Church, will prove futile.

3. Church Accommodations and Worship.

Ample accommodations are to be provided for all who are disposed, or who can be persuaded, to attend upon the services of the sanctuary. The style of Church architecture should be such as to bring the pew sittings within the reach of the poorer classes. The sanctuary should be made attractive also, not by costly embellishment, but by the clear and winning exhibition of the truth as it is in Jesus. There is no such power to sway the hearts of men as is found in the simple preaching of the doctrines of the cross. In “the service of song in the house of the Lord,” it is the duty and privilege of all, so far as they may, to participate. There is devotion in such singing more than in the performances of a few hired singers. The Scriptures, whether read or chanted, should have prominent place in any Church service; while the offering of prayer should be, not a prescribed form, but the free out-breathing of a soul in habitual communion with God. With such a service, however humble the structure in which it was held, the people would be drawn to the house of God, and they who came to scoff, perhaps, remain to pray.

4. The Duty of Ministers.

It is the duty of every minister of Christ to explain to his people the nature and methods of this work of parochial evangelization, and to direct them in it. He is himself, so far as health and other circumstances may allow, to take the initiative. Like his divine Lord, he is to seek, as well as to attempt to save, the lost. In going forth to the remoter sections of his parish, and preaching the gospel from house to house, in the patient endurance of toil and hardships and self-denial in this blessed work, he to be an ensample to the flock. More especially is he to lay upon the hearts and consciences of the people to whom he ministers the responsibility that properly devolves upon them. He is to make them see and feel that they have something to do; that they were called into the kingdom of Christ to labor, and not to rest. He is to guide them, teach them, show them how they may be useful. He is to inspire them, to animate them, with his own spirit of self-denial, and devotion to the Master's cause. If he is not equal to this, he is not fit for his place. “ Behold,” says the prophet, “ I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” And such should every minister of Christ be among the people of his charge, a leader as well as a witness.

5. Lay Preaching.

The duty of laymen, in their own way and sphere, to preach the gospel of Christ, is now acknowledged. All are to spread the glad tidings. A personal responsibility rests upon any member of the Church to engage in this work. Ministers are no more called of God to win souls to Christ than laymen. “Let him that heareth say, Come.” One may preach in the pulpit, and the other just as really, and perhaps more persuasively, in his warehouse or workshop. “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” is the question which every professed disciple of Christ should raise from day to day. " Where can I be most useful ?” “ How can I most honor Him who loved me, and gave himself for me?” The Church is supposed to be a body of workers, not of drones. “We, then, as workers together with him,” says Paul. If any man will not work, neither shall he eat of that spiritual bread which came down from heaven. The question has been raised, whether the time has not come for setting apart an order of lay evangelists. And this matter is certainly worthy of consideration. Let no man run before he is sent; but when he is sent of God, then let him not stay.

6. Special Efforts for the Young.

Efforts are to be made for the conversion of all, but more especially for the children and youth. They are the hope of the flock. Let them be gathered, one and all, into the Sabbath School, under competent teachers, — “wise to win souls to Christ." Let the old system of catechetical instruction be revived, or some substitute be found, which shall be equally crowned and blessed of God. Let more prominence be given to the rule and doctrine of infant baptism. Let children's parents be instructed as to their duty and privilege in this particular, until they shall come to see the preciousness of covenant blessings, proffered to them and their seed after them. Let the hearts of the fathers be turned unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, that the curse may be arrested, and the pains and penalties of the Old Testament be converted into the promises of the New. Children should be brought to the house of God also. The Sabbath School is no proper substitute for the regular Church service any more than for household religious instruction. Sermons to children should be preached occasionally, and other means devised to instruct them in the truth and the gospel. He who said, “ Feed my sheep," said also, “ Feed my

lambs." 7. The Home Prayer Meeting.

The Committee attach great importance to this. The object of the meeting should be to devise ways and means for reaching the neglected classes of the community; those who live under the very eaves of the sanctuary, and yet have never been persuaded to enter. Prayers should be offered with special reference to this object. Reports should be received from visiting committees, tract distributers, Bible readers, when such have been appointed. The pastor should give some account of his labors ; of the encouragements he has met, and the discouragements and obstacles with which he has to contend. The main point should be, not so much to make the meeting interesting as useful. Then it will prove both interesting and useful; a meeting which the churches will not be willing to forego.

8. The Social Element in the Church.

How can we make the most of the social influence and power of the Church ? is a most important inquiry. There is felt to be a want in all our churches; a want of sympathy and mutual love. We are not one as Christ prayed that we might become. There are lines of division in the Church which ought to be obliterated. How to obviate this difficulty is the problem to be solved. It is related of one whose name and memory are indissolubly associated with this Church edifice,? whose hands helped to build these walls, and whose spirit still lingers about the sanctuary in which he so long worshiped (the late Deacon Safford), that he "regarded the family of Christ as his own family.” It was his custom to keep a list of the members of the Church, and to cultivate a personal acquaintance with each; loving those united with him in these sacred bonds “with a pure heart fervently.” This sheds light upon the subject so far as the officers of the Church are concerned. Something can be done also in the way of social gatherings, meetings of sewing societies, etc. What is wanted is simply to bring those who are members of the mystical body of Christ heart to heart. Then also will they see "eye to eye.” There ought to be no tie so tender and strong as that which binds one Church member to another; no feeling of love like that which wells up in the heart of every believer from that common fountain whence we draw our spiritual life. Over the portals of our churches, that all who enter there may read, should be inscribed, “ Love the Brotherhood."

a Mt. Vernon Church,

9. Higher Standard of Piety in the Church.

We might almost say that the whole work of parochial evangelization resolves itself into this. Let the standard of piety be elevated; let every Church member feel that he is called of God and consecrated to the work of serving Christ in saving lost men ; that this is his mission, and not to get money or achieve a high social position; the work which it was given him as a Christian man to do, and by which he is to prove that he is a Christian man, - and there would be no further need of discussion as to the methods of parochial evangelization. A way would be opened, a broad highway, in which every consecrated believer in Jesus would delight to walk. What we want on the part of the membership of the Church is more humility, more brokenness of spirit, a deeper and truer penitence for sin. We want a stronger love for Christ, a more abiding sense of obligation to him. We want, as ministers and laymen, more of the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice, the spirit of the cross; a willingness to be anything or do anything if only God may be glorified, and we glorified in him. The evangelization, not of our parishes simply, but of the world, is an easy problem when contemplated from this point of view.

10. The Abiding Presence and Power of the Holy Ghost.

We live under the dispensation of the Spirit. This fact is never to be lost sight of in all our plans and efforts. The doctrine of the Holy Ghost, of his personality and power, should be made very prominent in the preaching of ministers at the present day. There have been three grand epochs in the history of the world. In the first, God the Father was the principal actor. In the second, God the Son. Now appears God the Holy Ghost, to whom it is given to complete the glorious work. He is the source of all spiritual life and strength.

Without him we are nothing. And just here is our danger in this work of home evangelization. We mature our plans, we organize our forces, we enter upon the work. The machinery is perfect, and we expect great results. But the spirit of power does not rest upon us, and we can accomplish nothing. How different is it when the spirit is poured out from on high !

But we need the continued presence of the Spirit in our churches; and this was the promise of Christ: “ And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” We have our seasons of refreshing followed by seasons of spiritual declension. How can we constrain the blessed Spirit to abide with us? The question still remains to be answered. One thing, however, is certain : when that time shall come, the problem which now seems so difficult will have been solved. “ Then will the Lord create upon every dwellingplace of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud of smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defence." Then every house will have altars, and from every hearthstone will ascend incense and a pure offering. “ Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace;

and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” May the Lord hasten it in his time!


The report was accepted, and so amended as to strike out the word “ control,” and insert the word “ supervision.” Adopted. Also, instead of “ artistic singing," so as to read," there is devotion in such singing more than in,” etc.

Amendments accepted, and the report adopted.

Committee on Church in Washington reported the following resolution, which was adopted :

Resolved, That the Trustees of the American Congregational Union be advised and requested to take into consideration the importance of a well-sustained Congregational Church in the city of Washington; and having ascertained what facilities there are for the establishment of such a Church, and what aid will be necessary, to institute arrangements, according to their best judgment and discretion, for building or purchasing a suitable edifice in the National Capital, in which a Congregational Church may maintain the preaching of the gospel, and the public worship of God.

The committee to whom was referred the question of the appointment of a special day of fasting and prayer with reference to the results of this Council, reported by its chairman, Rev. L. Swain, D. D., of Rhode Island, as follows:

The committee would recommend that Friday, the 15th day of September next, be observed by the churches represented in this Council as a day of fasting and prayer to Almighty God for the outpouring upon them of his Holy Spirit, so that this great convocation may be speedily followed by those good effects which were aimed at in the beginning, by a close union and a warmer mutual sympathy both among ourselves and with all who love our common Lord; by a deeper and more intelligent grasp of the principles of our own faith and polity; by a more earnest personal consecration to Christ and his kingdom; by a new spirit of missionary zeal both in behalf of the work to be done abroad and the new and important fields to be occupied at home; so that, having, like the primitive disciples, tarried at Jerusalem for “the promise of the Father,” the ministry and the churches may go forth beneath a new and mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost to preach that gospel which brought our fathers to these shores, which is set for the healing of the nations, and which is destined to lead the whole world unto Christ. The committee would also recommend that a coinmittee of three be appointed to prepare, and issue to the churches as soon as possible, a circular to this effect, embracing also an appeal to the churches in behalf of the 750,000 dollar fund.

The report was accepted and adopted, and referred to the committee already appointed to make a special appeal in reference to the $750,000.

The adjournment was postponed to allow of the completion of the business of the Council.

The Committee on the Roll reported by Dr. E. Beecher, chairman, a complete roll of the Council, which was accepted.

A resolution was presented by Rev. Mr. Gulliver, and was adopted, as follows:

Voted, That the following minute be entered on the record of this Council. This Council declares that no action which has been taken by this body is to be construed as expressing an opinion adverse to prohibitory legislation on the subject of temperance.

The following resolutions were also adopted; viz. : Resolved, that the official proceedings of this Council be published in the Congregational Quarterly, and that the sum of $200 be appropriated towards the expense of printing. And that the publishers be requested to issue as many copies of the proceedings, in a separate publication, as shall be called for, at cost price.

Resolved, That the original records and papers of this Council, with the phonographer's report, be, after final adjournment, placed on perpetual deposit with the Directors of the

American Congregational Association, never to be removed from its library room; and that the Directors be authorized to publish a volume of proceedings and debates.

Resolved, That, when the work of the Committee on the Platform of Polity is concluded, it be published, under the care of the committee, by the Directors of the American Congregational Association, who should retain the copyright.

Rev. Prof. Lawrence moved the following: Resolved, That the report on a Declaration of Faith adopted by this Council, and the Confession of Faith adopted by our Synod, be printed with the report which the Committee on Polity may make, that our doctrines and our polity may go forth together, and be easily obtained by all in our own churches and among other denominations.

Which was referred to the committee to whom was referred the Platform of Church Polity.

On motion of Rev. Mr. Davis, of New Hampshire, it was ordered, That the Committee on Church Polity be authorized, if they think best, to issue an epitome or digest of their large work for use and circulation among the churches, the copyright to be held in trust by the Directors of the American Congregational Association.

It was ordered, That Henry Hill, Esq., be added as Treasurer of the Council to the Committee on Finance, and authorized to dispose of all funds that may come in under the rule of the Council.

On motion of Rev. H. M. Dexter, it was voted, that Messrs. H. M. Dexter, and J. W. Wellman, of Massachusetts, be authorized to place a slab of marble, with a suitable inscription, in the wall of the house in Leyden where John Robinson taught his Church, marking the spot.

On motion of Rev. Mr. Eustis, of Connecticut, the following resolutions were accepted and adopted; viz. :

Resolred, That this National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States do hereby return thanks to the citizens of Boston and its vicinity for the generous hospitality which has so munificently provided for the members during this session, and to the churches, whose sanctuaries have been freely opened for their accommodation; and pray the Lord, who does not forget even the cup of cold water given a disciple, to reward with the richest spiritual blessings this community for their abounding Christian kindnesses and entertainments.

Resolved, That this Council declare their high appreciation of the time and labor which has been expended by the committees appointed at the preliminary meeting in New York to prepare for this Council, and especially to the Committee of Arrangements at Boston, to whom they are indebted for innumerable attentions, and for the excursion to the spot where our Forefathers first brought that catholic Church whose order we maintain. They would also gratefully notice the invitations from individuals and corporations, most of which they regret to have been obliged to decline.

Rev. S. Wolcott, D. D., of Ohio, offered the following, which were adopted; viz.: Resolred, That the Council tenders its thanks to His Excellency Governor Buckingham, our honored Moderator, for the dignity, urbanity, and courtesy with which he has presided over its deliberations — to which, in part, we ascribe the pleasant cordiality of feeling, unmarred by bitterness or harshness, which has prevailed throughout its earnest discussions ; and as a National Council we express the satisfaction with which we are reminded, by this assembly, of the early days of our Puritan history, when the chief magistrates of the Colonies were the servants of the churches, and the honors of the State were humbly laid at the feet of Christ.

Resolved, That the ability with which the occasional and special services which have devolved upon our respected Assistant Moderators have been performed, and the promptness and thoroughness with which our Scribes have discharged their onerous duties, are entitled

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