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Sect. 2. The following motion was made and 1786.
seconded, viz. The Synod considering the
number and extent of the Churches under their care, and the inconvenience of the present mode of Government by one Synod; Resolved, That this Synod will establish out of its own body three or more subordinate Synods, out of which shall be composed a General Assembly, Synod, or Council, agreeably to a System hereafter to be adopted.
Upon the question being put, Will the Synod adopt the resolution aforesaid, or not? it was carried in the affirmative.
The following gentlemen were appointed to prepare and report a plan for the division of the Synod into three or more Synods, viz. Drs. Rodgers, Smith, Duffield, Alison, Messrs. Latta, Martin, Matthew Wilson, Graham, Houston, James Finley, and Hall.-- Page 397.
For the particulars of this plan see under SyNODS and PRESBYTERIES.
Sect. 3. Resolved unanimously, That this Sy
nod be divided; and it is hereby divided 1788.
into four Synods; agreeably to an act made, and provided for that purpose in the Sessions of Synod, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six: and this division shall commence on the dissolution of the present Synod.
Resolved, That the first meeting of the General Assembly to be constituted out of the above four Synods be held, and it is hereby appointed to be held, on the third Thursday of May, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine ; in the Second Presbyterian Church, in the City of Philadelphia, at eleven o'clock, A. M. and that Dr. Witherspoon, or, in his absence, Dr. Rodgers, open the General Assembly, with a Sermon; and preside till a Moderator be chosen.
Resolved, That the Synod of New York, and New Jersey, meet on Wednesday the twenty-ninth day of next October, in the First Presbyterian Church, in the City of New York, at three o'clock, P. M. and that the present Moderator, or, in his absence, the senior Minister present, open the Synod, with a Sermon; and preside till a Moderator be chosen.
Resolved, That the Synod of Philadelphia meet on the third Wednesday of October next, in the First Presbyterian Church, in the City of Philadelphia, at eleven o'clock, A. M. and that Dr. Ewing, or, in his absence, the senior Minister present, open the Synod, with a Sermon; and preside till a Moderator be chosen.
Resolved, That the Synod of Virginia meet on the fourth Wednesday of October next, at eleven o'clock, A. M. at New Providence Church; and that Mr. Sankey, or, in his absence, the senior Minister present, open the Synod, with a Sermon; and preside till a Moderator be chosen.
Resolved, That the Synod of the Carolinas meet on the first Wednesday of November next, at eleven o'clock, A. M. at Centre Church, in Roan County; and that Mr. Patillo, or, in his absence the senior Minister present, open the Synod, with a Sermon; and preside till a Moderator be chosen. THE SYNOD WAS THEN DISSOLVED.
OF THE ANNUAL ORGANIZATION OF THE GE
Sect. 1. Immediately after public worship, on the day appointed for the meeting of the Assembly, the Moderator takes the chair; and having called the commissioners to order, offers prayer to Almighty God for his direction and blessing.
Sect. 2. The Moderator then calls for the commissions; which being delivered to the clerk, and publickly read, a list of the commissioners is made out, in the order of the Presbyteries.
The Assembly having proceeded to business without attending sufficiently to the order prescribed in the Constitution, respecting the commissions of the members; and having been led into that inattention by precedents in the former sessions of the General Assembly; it was thought necessary to declare:
-That the business ought not, in future, to be entered upon by the Assembly, until the com missions delivered to the clerk shall have been publickly read, according to the express letter of the Constitution.--1791. Vol. I. Page 26.
Sect. 3. The list of the commissioners present being completed, a new Moderator is chosen.
On motion, agreed, That it be a standing rule of the General Assembly, in choosing a Moderator, that any commissioner may nominate a candidate for the chair. The candidates so pointed out shall then, severally give their votes for some one of their number and withdraw; when the remaining commissioners shall proceed, viva voce, to choose by a plurality of voices, one of the said candidates for Moderator. 1791.-Vol. I. Page 38.
Sect. 4. A Moderator having been duly chosen, the former Moderator before he resigns his seat, addresses him and the Assembly, thus:
Sir-It is my duty to inform you, and announce to this house, that you are duly elected to the of-fice of Moderator in this General Assembly.--For your direction in office, and for the direction of this Assembly in all your deliberations, before I leave this seat, I am to read to you and this house the rules contained in the records of this Assembly; which I doubt not will be carefully observed by both, in conducting the business that may come before you.
[Here the Moderator is to read the rules, and afterwards add]
Now, having read these rules, according to order, for your instruction as Moderator, and for the direction of all the members, in the management of business,-praying that Almighty God may direct and bless all the deliberations of this Assembly for
the glory of his name, and for the edification and comfort of the Presbyterian Church in the United States,-I resign my place and office as Moderator.--1791. Vol. I.
Vol. I. p. 30.
Sect. 5. The new Moderator having taken his seat, calls the attention of the Assembly to the choice of a temporary clerk, who is chosen viva
Resolved, That it be considered as the right of every member of the Assembly, to vote for a clerk who is not a member of the body. Vol. I. Page 68.--1793.
OF THE MODE OF DOING BUSINESS.
Sect. 1. THE Assembly having been duly organized, any commissioner who has lost his commission may be admitted to a seat on proper testimony.
See Vol. I. p. 3, 48, 69, 85, 104.-Vol. II. p. 76, 77, 140, 276, 277, 308.-Vol. III. p. 128, 177, 221, 229, 231, &c.
See also, Vol. II. p. 148, 149, in which it appears that opposition was made to this practice of receiving commissioners without their commissions.