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ruling elder in the congregation of
as the case may be;]") to be a commissioner, on behalf of this presbytery, to the next general affembly of the presbyterian church in the United States of America, to meet at
- A. D. wherever, and whenever, the said assembly may happen to fit; to consult, vote, and determine, on all things that may come before that body, according to the principles and constitution of this church and the word of God. And of his diligence herein, he is to render an account at his return. Signed, by order of the Presbytery,
Clerk.” And the presbytery shall make record of the appointment,
Sect. III. These commissions shall, if poffi. Conmilions ble, be delivered to the clerk of the fhall be delic affembly, in proper season, that he Clerk at the may have the roll of the assembly firft Sefion. completed before the first session. Commiffions, not produced at the opening of the affembly, shall afterwards be delivered only in the intervals between the sessions. No commiffioner shall have a right to deliberate or vote in the affembly, until his name shall have been enrolled by the clerk, and his commillion publicly read, and filed among the papers of the assembly.
vered to the
Sect. IV. The general assembly fall meet, The Assembly
in every year ; their Shall meet once first meeting to be on the third
Thursday of May, 1784, in the Se. cond Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and! afterwards on their own adjournments. If there be not a sufficient number, for the transaction of business, convened before 12 o'clock, on that day, those who are present shall have power tor adjourn, from day to day, till a fufficient num. ber shall have met to constitute an affembly,
Sect. V. On the day tọ, which the general And shall be assembly stands adjourned, and beopened with tween the hours of eleyen and twelve, a Sermon.
the moderator of the last general ala fembly, if prefent'; or, in case of his absence, the senior minifter present, shall open the meeting with a fermon. After sermon, the mem-. bers being in the house where the assembly is to hold its sessions, the same minister who preach• . ed shall, by prayer, publicly implore the blessing and direction of Almighty God; and shall con- . tinue to preside till a new moderator be chosen.. For this purpose he shall call for the commissions of those present; which being read, and the : names of the members enrolled in order, if there : be a quorum, they shall choose a moderator.
Sect. VI. Each session of the assembly, as of Mode of diffolve all the other judicatories of the ing the Affembly: church, shall be introduced and.
concluded with prayer.
And the whole business of the assembly being finished, and the vote being taken for diffolving the prelent affembly, the moderator shall say from the chair : “ By virtue of the authority delegated to me by the church, let this general assembly be diffolved ; and I do hereby diffolve it, and requir: another assembly chosen in the same manner, to meet at
A. D. After which he shall pray, and return thanks to God for his great mercy and goodness, and pronounce on those present, the apoftolic benediction.
Sect. VII. In order, as far as possible, to Expenses of procure a respectable and full delegaDelegates to tion to all our judicatories, it is probe defrayed.
per, that the expenses of ministers and elders, in their attendance on these judicatories, be defrayed, by the bodies which they respectively represent,
JUDICATORIES OF THIS CHURCH.
CH A P. I.
ITH regard to SCANDALS OR OFFENCES
that may arise in our churches, we agree to observe the following rules of proceeding.
1. Inasmuch as all baptized persons are members of the church, they are under its care, and subject to its government and discipline : and, when they have arrived at the years of discretion, they are bound to perform all the duties of church members.
2. No accusation thall be admitted, as the foundation of a process before an ecclefiaftical judicatory, but where such offences are alledged, as appear, from the word of God, to merit the public notice and censure of the church. And,
in the accusation, the times, places, and circumstances, should be ascertained, if possible; that the accused may have an opportunity to prove an alibi, or to extenuate, or alleviate his crime.
3. No complaint or information, on the subject of personal and private injuries, shall be admitted, unless those means of reconciliation, and of privately reclaiming the offender, have been used, which are required by Christ. Mat. xviii. 15, 16. And, in all cases, the ecclefiaftical judicatories, in receiving accusations, in conducting proceles, or inflicting censures, ought to avoid, as far as poflible, the divulging of offences, to the scandal of the church : because the unnecessary spreading of scandal hardens and enrages the guilty, grieves the godly, and dishonours religion. And if any private Christian (hall industriously Spread the knowledge of an offence, unless in profecuting it before the proper judicatories of the church, he shall be liable to censure, as an uncan.. lid Danderer of his brother,
4. When complaint is made of a crime, cogoaizabłe_before any judicatory, no more shall be done at the first meeting, unless by consent of parties, than to give the accused a copy of each: charge with the names of the witnesses to fupport it; and a citation of all concerned, to appear at the next meeting of the judicatory, to have the matter fully heard and decided. Notice shall