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Sect. 2. Commissioners who do not produce their commissions at the opening of the Assembly, can be received only at the commencement of a session. See Form of Government, Chap. XXII. Sect. 3.
Sect. 3. The Moderator directs the minutes of the last General Assembly to be read; and while the temporary clerk is reading them, a docket of such business as may require the attention of the Assembly, is prepared by the permanent clerk.
Sect. 4. The minutes having been read, the Assembly appoints a COMMITTEE OF BILLS AND OVERTURES, AND THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE; who meet at the hour and place appointed by the Assembly, and afterwards on their own adjournments.
See No. III, IV, V, of the general rules.
Sect. 5.“ The Assembly set apart the Monday next succeeding the commencement of their sessions, for the free conversation on the state of religion. Written reports are read on that day by the Presbyteries and the Eastern Associations connected with the General Assembly; accompanied with verbal information from members, who have any important particulars to communicate that are not embraced in the written reports.
The following proposition was introduced
through the committee of bills and overtures, that the General Assembly take measures to bring into distinct view, at its different sessions, the situation of the Presbyterian Church under its jurisdic
tion in the United States of America with respect to the state of Religion in the different Presbyteries ; the state of religious denominations among them, and the most probable expedients for reviving and promoting the essential interests of Christ's kingdom in the world.
Whereupon, Resolved, That it be recommended to each Synod to enjoin it upon the respective Presbyteries within their bounds, to specify the above particulars in the annual reports which they make of the state of their respective churches, to be laid before the General Assembly at its stated meetings.
On Motion, Resolved, That the following 1793.
clause in a resolution passed by the General Assembly of 1792 respecting the reports of Presbyteries be repealed, viz. “ The state of religious denominations among them."
Sect. 6. In the course of the sessions of the General Assembly, the following committees are appointed.
1. The committee to take notes of the free conversation on the state of religion, and to prepare and report to the Assembly a connected narrative on the subject.
The narrative is read at the concert prayer meeting
2. A committee to make arrangements in regard to the exercises proper for the concert prayer meeting, annually held by the Assembly, and to designate the persons who shall lead in them.
Public notice of the time and place of meeting is given from the pulpits of the several Presbyterian Churches in Philadelphia, and the people are invited to attend.
This practice was commenced in the year 1802, and has been continued ever since.-See Vol. I. p. 290.
3. Committees to examine the records of the different Synods.
4. A committee on the reports of Synods and Presbyteries.
Resolved, That there be annually appointed a committee of Reports, to which shall be referred all reports from Presbyteries and Synods; and of this committee it shall be the duty to compare the reports of the Synods with the reports from the Presbyteries, digest the whole, and read them to the Assembly; and also make a statement of the Synods and the Presbyteries which shall have neglected to report. 1809.-Vol. II. Page 277.
5. A committee to prepare an abstract of the reports of Synods and Presbyteries for insertion in the COMPENDIOUS VIEW.
RULES, The committee would further propose that the Assembly, should make it a standing rule, annually to appoint a committee, who shall take the synodical and presbyterial reports, after they have been read before the Assembly, and fill up the blanks of a form, prepared to exhibit a compendious view of the number of ministers, congregations, licentiates, candidates, and communicants, together with thé baptisms and collections in one year.
See Part III. Chap. III. Sect. 2.
On Motion Resolved, That the committee annually appointed to prepare the result of the reports of Synods and Presbyteries for entrance in the book kept by the stated clerk for that purpose, do carefully compare the statement of monies in said reports with the accounts of the Treasurer of the Trustees of the Assembly, that all errors or omissions may be carefully corrected before the entry be made by the stated clerk. Vol. II. Page 276. -1809.
6. A committee to prepare a minute, exhibiting what the Presbyteries shall appear to have done in relation to the education of poor and pious youth for the gospel ministry, after inquiry shall have been made by the Assembly, agreeably to a standing rule thus expressed :
And the Assembly did, and do hereby order, that every Presbytery under their care, make annually a report to the Assembly, stating particularly what they have done in this concern, or why (if the case so shall be) they have done nothing in it; and that the Assembly will, when these Reports are received, consider each distinctly, and decide by vote, whether the Presbyteries severally shall be considered as having discharged or neglected their duty in this important business. 1806.-Vol. II. Page 180.
See minutes on this subject, published in different years in the Assembly's printed extracts.
7. A committee to ascertain the number of miles travelled by the members in coming to, and in returning from, the Assembly, and to apportion to each what ought to be allowed him out of the commissioner's fund agreeably to the rules adopted on the subject.
See the rules in Part VI. Chap. III. Sect. 1.
8. A committee to meet the Trustees of the College of New Jersey, and dispose of monies in their hands, and to report to the next Assembly.
See an account of these Monies in Part XIV. Chap. III.
9. A committee on the report of the Board of Missions; whose duty it is to prepare any resolutions on the report that they may deem proper to be submitted to the Assembly for adoption.
10. A committee on the report of the Board of Directors of the Theological Seminary, whose duty is similar to that of the preceding committee.
11. A committee to select such parts of the Assembly's minutes, as they may deem proper for publication.
Sect. 7. THE BOARD OF MISSIONS are annually chosen.
See Part VIII. Chap. I.
THE TRUSTEES, when chosen, are elected agreeably to the rules inserted in Part VII. Chap. II.
THE DELEGATES to the General Associations in New England, and to the General Convention of Vermont, are chosen according to the rules adopted for the purpose.
See Part XII. Chap. VI.